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!