Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My First Proposal

My first ever proposal as a minister (in a leadership meeting) was that the Church should purchase a photocopier. It seemed a sure thing for a first proposal, and I had carefully rehearsed the reasons why we needed one: we had plenty of money, we needed the copier, we were outsourcing for copies -- and then I read out a passage by an eminent Church growth expert on the vital need for copied communications. But my proposal was turned down unanimously. It was unceremoniously dismissed. I was traumatised. What had happened? OBSERVATION: Perhaps my proposal wouldn't be accepted even if I repeated it today with hindsight.  However, I would do a few things differently now. Today, I wouldn't be so formal about it, but I would "argue" the matter in a personable way. Back then, I felt that a minister's dignity did not permit "bartering in the marketplace". I wouldn't feel today (as I did then) that the proposal was so important. There are many things a Church doesn't need to succeed -- and decision here or decision there, the Holy Spirit does His mighty work. I would also see more clearly, today, that a decision about a photocopier is dependent on deeper things, such as spiritual vision -- and it is those deeper things which need the work. And while I am not a fan of lobbying, I might have stirred people's minds a little with well-placed questions. Ultimately, in this case, someone else (not me) proposed that we purchase a photocopier, as if it was their very own idea. The proposal was accepted unanimously!

1 comment:

Steve Hayes said...

When I was in Melmoth, Zululand, 30 years ago, our church had the only copier in town, and everyone came to us with their photocopying. It was one way of getting people within range of the church, and if they weren't in too much of a rush, a cup of tea and a chat.