Roy Oswald writes about churches selecting a new Senior Minister: “No matter how much work has been done in terms of self-study, goal setting, and job description, the selection of a new pastor is not a rational decision. The decision is deeply intuitive with a good deal of blindness connected with it.”
Love may be blind, but we are together for better or worse, so I want you to know what my goals are, recognizing that I have only been on the job for three weeks. I plan to get more rational.
I want to ride the subway without repeatedly looking at the map to make sure the train is still headed in the right direction.
I want to go a day without consulting my gps.
I want to honk my horn like a New Yorker.
I want to go into a grocery store and think, “That’s a reasonable price for a pound of ground beef.”
I want to look at a restaurant menu without sticker shock, “How can a Coca-Cola here be three times as good as a Coca-Cola in Georgia?”
I want to go to a Mets-Braves game without secretly rooting for Atlanta.
I want to convince myself that climbing stairs counts like a trip to the gym.
I want to feel at home at Plymouth. I want to know names—including the 22 Davids listed in the church directory.
I want to learn our history as a way of visioning the future. I thank God for Henry Ward Beecher, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Jr., David Fisher, and Al Bunis. I want to be grateful for where we have been as well as where we are going.
I want to learn how we tell our story. Plymouth is a gift to our community. You and I have friends and neighbors who need this church. We need to let them know we are here for them.
I want to understand how we learn the Christian story together. The best Christian education is not just learning content, but becoming more like Christ. How do we do that at Plymouth?
I want to help people find friends. I want to know which groups will be the best family for which newcomers.
I want to know about the ways we care for the hurting. Our ministries help us become the people God wants us to be.
I want to continue to feel God’s presence when I walk into the sanctuary.
I want to have a part in our worship growing deeper. I love our worship, and have no desire to change things for change’s sake. The goal is to strengthen our worship so that we can more fully give ourselves to God.
I want to be a good person as well as a good senior minister. I want to set up patterns for well-being and growth: prayer, exercise, and study.
I want to give guidance, support, and care to the leadership and staff of Plymouth.
I want to understand the structure of the church’s ministry, to ascertain what organizational needs we have.
Eventually I want someone to introduce me by saying, “This is our Senior Minister. He’s not that new.”
Carol and I came to Plymouth to be part of the family. I want to hear your stories, and I want to share my story. I want to move past being acquaintances and become friends. I want to be real church.