I spent most of the day leading our Church Council in planning for the year. We adopted a new leadership structure on January 1, and I’m having to spend many hours helping us think about and learn how to live life together in a new way.

The church I serve is a traditional United Methodist Church located in a diverse suburb of Nashville. In 1996 it was a church that was averaging around 300 persons in worship between two services. When I arrived in June, the church was down to a single service averaging around 180. To say that they have been through some struggles (under the leadership of two different pastors) is an understatement.

So part of our task is to turn around a body that has been heading backwards and turning in a new direction. Today’s meeting, which focused on questions of values and mission and goals was a good start on that task. I think the folks present began to catch a vision of a new way of life together, which makes me hopeful about our future.

But now, I’m sitting at home listening to my wife fight with kids while she’s trying to give them a bath. I’m needing to turn to my sermon . . . but after five hours of almost continual talking I’m not sure I can. It’s been a long day, and it’s gonna be a long night.

Someday, in a more perfect world, I will figure out how to pull a sermon together during my “office time” at the church during the week. But I haven’t figured out how to do it yet. I guess that’s another area of my life that needs to move on to perfection . . .

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