This weekend, well… this weekend did not go as I anticipated. My original plan was to have some family time, watching some TCU football, support Disciples4 Water at Music4 Water, and then worship on Sunday.
What ended up happening, well… I ended up having an emergency appendectomy. Which ended up being a little more complicated than anticipated and led to a 3 night stay in the hospital.
I know that our healthcare system has its bright spots and its low lights, both of which I experienced this weekend, but from this one experience, I think it also has some things to teach the church.
- Transitions are not the end – In a world of 12 hour shifts and constant staff change, the transitions from one shift to another or one team to another don’t cause the system to stop. There are still important things that need to be done, medicines that need to be administered, procedures that need to be schedule and transitions do not bring those important things to a halt. I have had moments in my church career where less transition has caused more interruption, so I am taking note of the flow in the hospital. Transition doesn’t have to stop the mission.
- Roles are set – There is never any doubt who is the surgeon and who is the nurses aid, who is the anesthesiologist and who is the tech, who is the nutrition tech and who is the RN. I can’t even imagine my fear if I was rolled into an operating room where the roles where still being decided. As the patient, I would be concerned for my well being. Luckily, I experienced a very confident and capable OR team. It makes me wonder about the people who enter our church, hurt and fractured, and our rolls as caretakers, comforters, pastors, and leaders are not clear. Do they experience the fear of uncertainty? Do they lack confidence in our ability to care for them?
- No two journeys are the same – Medical professionals are trained to diagnose, triage, and care for you no matter where you came from, what you experienced, no matter the health of your family structure, or the size of your paycheck. They realize, from the moment you set foot in the door, that even if you say you are experiencing the flu, or appendicitis, or whatever ails ya, that it will manifest uniquely for you because you are uniquely you. There are guidelines and frameworks, but not one set way to get to health. It makes me wonder about the church and at times the “one-size-fits-all” discipleship programs that we cultivate. Do we not have the same responsibility to each other, to honor where you’ve been and support you going forward without being so prescriptive that we miss all necessary steps towards health?
So how do church leaders prompt these conversations…
- Don’t be scared to name the roles and systems of your church.
- No matter how big or small, work toward healthy process and clarity of roles.
- Recruit leaders for specific roles, not just to be “leaders”.
- Assess if the right people are in the right place in your ministry.
- Honor the unique ways that we all experience faith.
- Celebrate the various paths we all follow to become a disciple.
I am hoping to bust out of here tomorrow.
So here is to health – physically and spiritually!