From 4/15-4/17 the new & old Coordinating Team members & staff went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to be refreshed, build community, & prepare for next year. It is incredibly important to build up these leaders spiritually, communally, & practically so that they are well-equipped for our InterVarsity camp at year’s end & leading in 2011-2012. This is part 3 of 4 about the weekend & about leadership development.
On Saturday night, after some time in the sun, planning together, and a tasty dinner, we settled in for a time of celebration. Celebration isn’t something I’m very gifted at in a ministry context — our culture, even our church/Christian culture encourages an “all work, no play” attitude because we are so driven and so focused! We never stop to see what we have been doing and never enjoy it, or never enjoy each other!
We can become so driven, even for the Lord, that we burn ourselves instead of taking time to periodically celebrate what the Lord has done, even as we acknowledge there is still unfinished work. This is definitely one of my own problems, and I am sure many UVAers, even in the Christian sense, feel this same burden to go and never step and never enjoy God’s work or God’s people.
Thus, on Saturday night, we celebrated the new leaders by having a foot-washing ceremony. Remembering the time in the upper room where Jesus washed each disciple’s feet, each old CTeam member washed the feet of their counterpart. It was a time of quiet reflection and joyful handing over. Instead of a leadership transition that was about ascending to new power or having to abdicate, it was about giving new leaders the opportunity to serve! We celebrated that calling God had given them for next year.
Afterwards, each old CTeam member sat in our hotseat. And then for 15 minutes, every other person (old and new CTeam and staff) got to affirm, celebrate, thank, and share about the person there, to actively enjoy that person with all of us together. It was a sweet time! Some people cried as we shared about them, we all had some good laughs and jokes. And after each person was celebrated, they shared the ways they need prayer and then all other members laid hands on that member and prayed for them. I got a chance to sit in the hot seat too, and be affirmed, and be prayed for.
God wants us to celebrate more I think! And in His eyes, it is not wasteful or frivolous — in fact it is essential to growing well and putting things in perspective. Until Christ returns here will always be work to do — and we will always be committed to it — but even in the here-and-now, God grants us the space and blessing (sacrament, almost!) of celebration in light of what the Lord has already done as well as what He has yet to do.