It’s funny when I get to talk about church stuff, especially being Presbyterian, and at times I get pretty impassioned about it, and people respond, “Wow, you really like being Presbyterian!” Other folks have also heard my rants and raves about church stuff and some of my frustrations with being Presbyterian, yet I somehow still love it.
Truth be told, I have a real love-hate relationship with this thing called church and this thing called Presbyterian. Some of the hardest things for me, like our democratic way of making decisions, are also the things I really appreciate. Except in a few circumstances, rarely are we not held accountable to some group of people, be it a committee or a board.
Sometimes our accountable is a great thing to fall back on so I can remember I’m not alone in this, and other times it’s a drag because it’s a lot of work to make sure everyone is on the same page (or, more likely, I just really want to do something that I know may cause a stir). In either case, more often than not, this whole accountability thing is good, even if it might slow us down now and then (which in itself is more often a good thing, helping us from jumping head first into murky waters that may be more shallow than we realize).
Some exciting things are happening at the church I serve, but none of it is without some risks nor without the danger of completely falling apart in front of us. But I know, and I hope others who are a part of these risky and exciting things know, that we are not in this by ourselves. We are held together by a mutual love that I know even the loudest nay-sayers have as the basis for their concern.
In my experience, often high anxiety is produced out of a deep concern for the community and what ever it is that we believe God to be doing in the midst of that community, even when I feel (emphasis on my own, often more limited than I realize, perception) other people’s concerns are unfounded or overblown.
I am thankful for the accountability my community—whether it be my family, church community, wider presbytery, denomination, or wider Body of Christ—brings to the table where we are all welcomed by the living and loving God revealed in and through Jesus the Christ. It is hard, and forces us to do some hard internal and external work (spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical). But in my experience, in the long run, I am a better person for it. Thanks be to God!