Sunday evening, Feb. 20, as I checked email on my phone, I witnessed a stunning development: a core group of church members engaging in what author Carne Ross has called “The Leaderless Revolution.”
In this case, it was ordinary people, Falcon Heights Church members, organizing themselves and taking responsibility for action in the face of climate change. It was remarkable not because people were passionate about the issue: I had been on the Zoom call the day before, where a notable consensus coalesced around climate justice as one of our two multi-year priorities (the other being children, youth and family ministry).
This had been building for weeks, as the Outreach Ministry Team, led by Sara Wright and Patti Hoffman, and championed by Worship Ministry Team member and FHC Assistant Treasurer Patti Holmes, felt there was significant congregational energy behind making it a priority. Sara asked me if it could be brought to the group at that Saturday’s retreat.
It seemed like the next logical place for the question to go, since we would have a good group to exercise discernment—the Executive Board, plus the majority of our ministry teams represented. We try to exercise discernment, because we can’t pursue every deserving cause or project that comes to our attention, as a church. Focus is important, so we can be good stewards of our resources and energy and time.
But what I witnessed Sunday night was nothing short of a resounding validation of that consensus. You can always tell when you’re tapping into the people’s passion and sense of calling: People begin organizing themselves and stepping forward for roles where they can contribute to getting things rolling.
This is also how one knows if something is “of God.” If it’s life-giving in its potential, and can further the common good, AND if people are organizing themselves and volunteering to do what they’re passionate about and gifted to do—then it’s “of God.” Many things can have life-giving potential and promise to further the common good, but if it’s like pulling teeth to get people to volunteer for it, it’s not God’s will. Either it’s not the right time, or you don’t have the people necessary to pull it off.
I hope you’ll read the other piece in this week’s issue of the TAB, and learn more about how YOU can get involved. But whatever you do, please pray daily for this effort; our planet’s present and future existence depend on the actions of ordinary people, including people of faith!