Monday, July 7, 2008


"We need a leader," she said.

The woman stood with five others in the church foyer. They were waiting for me. People need a leader when the church doors are open. People need a leader when the scheduled event breaks from routine. People need a leader when their pastor is five minutes late.

So I led, as needed, repeating the details from the morning. "The instructions for 'Read Your Bible for an Hour Straight' are thus: Read your Bible for an hour straight. Oh yeah, you can sit anywhere."

Some may have wanted to know what to read, where to read, and if there would be an alarm going off at 7:00, followed by a brief quiz and discussion. I warned them about the quiz, but said nothing else.

One lesson I'm begin to learn is that leadership includes answering both WHAT and WHY? Call me postmodern (or unorganized), but I'm not too keen on either. I like ambivalence. I like hosting a gathering that does not explicitly tell either WHAT will happen or WHY we're doing it. I like tension and communal discovery. But this is not always what people want.

Last night, I just wanted people to read the Bible. Must of us don't. Not enough. Not at all. Once I heard a girl profess she was 'purging from the Bible' for a year. Apparently, along with the partially hydrogenated oils in her peanut butter, it was polluting her system with toxins. She was reaching God through Yoga instead.

As folks left that evening, I received a brief report on the content of their reading: what book, story, poem, letter. And I asked if it was beneficial. It was a leading question, I know, but I was asked to lead. So I did.

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