A new thing

I have recently taken my senior management team at work through a Belbin assessment. If you’re not familiar with the tool it can be a useful way of identifying the strengths and contributions that individuals bring to a team. Try and identify your own profile if you haven’t ‘been Belbin’d’! See www.belbin.com/about/belbin-team-roles

In many ways there were no surprises for us. As professional operations and administration staff, the team was very strong in implementation work, good at detail, analytical, strong in evaluating progress and monitoring results. Many were completer finishers (which is a dream for a manager!) and the profiles reminded me why I enjoy this team, trust them and value them and all they contribute.

Now enter a verse of scripture from Isaiah that we feel God has given to our office team for this season and it becomes interesting. Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

The ‘tension and challenge’ for many of us that are called to work as administrators in/for churches is that we aren’t always quick to respond to the new thing. We are wired to analyse, to question. We see the potential change in the context of learnings from the past. We can be cautious to jump in and embrace the new opportunity before we weigh options. We ask the right and wise questions that the visionary church leaders we work alongside won’t always have thought of. Those questions become invaluable in shaping and honing the vision. All good stuff! But if we don’t watch ourselves, we can become too slow to respond. Our need to have all the answers; to have been convinced in advance that the new thing is better than the old thing; to have the business case all neatly signed off can sometimes hold us - and dare I say it - our churches, back. I’m talking to myself as much as you!

When God speaks and tells us it is time for something new, annoyingly he doesn’t always present a business case to convince us first. Sometimes He simply says “I am doing a new thing”. He asks us if we can see it, if we can discern it. He doesn’t ask us to suffer from memory loss when He says, “forget the former things, do not dwell on the past”. Rather, He’s asking us to believe Him for more, that the new thing will make the old thing fade away in comparison. He’s asking us not to be bound by the past and not to limit Him, or to limit others…or ourselves.

In your church, in your personal life perhaps, and certainly as Directors leading and serving UCAN, when God shows us that He is doing something new then I pray that we’ll be ready. If God shows us it’s time for a new direction, a new initiative, a new member of the team; then I pray we’ll be ready. Ready to notice it, ready to move away from our preferences and past ways of doing things to welcome it. Ready to remember that God is always creating, always on the move, always bringing new out of old. That we’ll also be ready after seeing it, to surrender to Him and to join in with what He is doing. He is a good, faithful and trustworthy God after all.

Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

Jules Morgan
Chair of Directors