So this is a real conversation that really happened... for reals. Only the names have been changed to protect those involved because I have not asked permission from them to use their names. Except "Pomo" who is me.
The room upstairs is dark and the smell of coffee fills the air. Already sitting on the scene are three church leaders; Deck, Art, and Mode. They proceed with small talk but also appear a bit nervous because of the conversation that is about to take place.
Enter Pomo, who is shocked at seeing all three of them sitting there. He usually only met with Deck.
Pomo: Um, hi guys. What's up?
Deck: Hi, how are you?
(Now 3 or 4 minutes of small talk ensue which not need be elaborated here. Then some specifics were brought up regarding vision and direction and trust; which is too laborious to get into on a blog. But now, for the exciting conclusion!)
Deck: I was trying to think of an analogy and this is the best one I could think of: Your on a bus and those with you are also on that bus. And your driving this bus but you really don't know where you are going. You're just going off in some direction but you don't have a map.
Art: See, when you drive a bus you need a specific address. We feel like you maybe have a city, but a city is pretty big and you need an address.
Deck: So, we'd like to ask you to step down from leadership, just for now. Until you know what your address is. If you find out that address is the same destination as ours then you can come back, but for now, we feel it's best that we take over the ministry.
Art: Then you can ride our bus until you get a map and go in the same direction we are going.
Mode: But we need you. We need you to stay on the bus so we don't loose all the people who got on the bus with you.
Deck: Yes we need you to ride our bus and follow our map. We can't do this without you. But you have to let us drive the bus for a while. You need to give us the wheel until you figure out exactly where you are going.
The conversation pretty much ended there but if I thought of it at the time, this is what I would have said:
"But you see, we aren't a bus. We don't know the destination. We are like explorers on the open sea. We just know we need to go West because land is East. There may be dragons and their most assuredly are storms, but we will let the wind guide us and whether we succeed or fail, we will venture into unknown territory, see amazing sites, meet amazing people, and live each breath by the grace of an amazing God.
"Call us a "Ship of Fools" if you like, but God uses the foolish to confound the wise. I think following Jesus should be more like a sea faring explorer with a compass and the stars and the wind, than a bus driver with a map and a paved road and a gas station every 50 miles."
We are still a ship of fools. I deeply respect those who feel otherwise but we wouldn't change it for the world.
*for the record, I did say that we would step down from leadership in the best possible way, but we would never ever ever come back. It ended very amicably on a Sunday morning a few days later.
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