Friday, December 20, 2013

The Peaceful Urgency Continuum

What tone would characterize your board’s work and your board’s aspirations for your ministry?
   • Results-driven?
   • Activity-driven?
   • Reactive?
   • Focused?
   • Discerning?
   • Watchdog?
   • Cheerleader?

How about this tone?
Peaceful Urgency!

A CFO of a large church used that intentional phrase this week during our phone conversation.  I immediately wrote it down—because that’s a thoughtful blend of two worlds: Peaceful. Urgency.

Some years back while anxious over the pace of his life, John Ortberg called a wise friend who coached him back to sanity with this wise counsel,
“You must ruthlessly eliminate
hurry from your life.” 

He describes what happened next in his book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Chapter 5: An Unhurried Life: The Practice of “Slowing”):

“Okay, I’ve written that one down,” Ortberg tells his friend somewhat impatiently. “That’s a good one. Now what else is there?”

After a long pause, his wise friend responded, “There is nothing else.”

Ortberg quotes Thomas Kelly:
“People nowadays take time
far more seriously than eternity.”

Whoa! There’s the other side of the Peaceful Urgency continuum.

Eternity—for the Christ-follower and for the ministry board member—matters. There is an urgency about eternity—and every time we stand with Handel’s Messiah—we’re reminded:
   • “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountains…”
   • “The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised in corruptible, and we shall be changed.”
   • “…and He shall reign for ever and ever.”

So what is your board’s tone for this next year?   Eternity demands urgency—so how will you discern what level of urgency?  My suggestion: ask the Prince of Peace.

QUESTION: John Ortberg writes, “Hurry is not just a disordered schedule. Hurry is a disordered heart.” What do you do, in your board meetings and day-after-day, to forge a Peaceful Urgency as your board stewards God’s work?

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