The ‘Ideal’ and ‘Reality’ lag and tension in church life

19 01 2011

In a meeting with the Lakeshore admin assistant today we were discussing one of the many rosters at Lakeshore that we are constantly trying to find people for. There never seems to be enough people for all the ‘necessary’ aspects of church life.
It turned into a helpful chat about one of the realities and tensions of church life. There always is and always will be a lag or chasm between the ideal and the reality in so many aspects of church life. We reflected on the reality of the tension this creates in that we are wanting to work towards the ideal but will constantly be faced with the reality. For example there will never be enough people to fill all the rosters. Even when more people come along to church it somehow creates more work so there are more people needed.
I moved to reflect on the fact that to be able to be in any kind of leadership position in church you need to recognise this tension and have a capacity to live with it to be able to sustain a healthy attitude. We want to work towards the ideal but be content (ie not grumbling against everyone as if they are all ‘lazy good for nothings’ and having a ‘what’s going on in this church’ attitude) with the reality of limited resources or capacity.
Is this what Jesus was recognising when he said in Matthew 9:37:- “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few?”