At UBC, "Paying the Rent" has allowed me to learn more about a loving group of people. I am expected to visit homes and hospital rooms. I am expected to counsel couples interested in marriage. I am expected to keep regular office hours at the church and promptly respond to emailed communication. I am expected to eulogize loved-ones. Punctuality for meetings and preparation for Sunday proclamation are included in "Paying the Rent". Christ-centered commentary on current events should be at the ready, though isn't always required. The longer I walk with the people, the more I see the facets of the gem that is "Paying the Rent" in the local church. I also see the wisdom in Swink and Shawchuck's counsel.
Both advised me to also do things people don't expect of me but that are essential for church growth and transformation. Leading change ensures there will still be a place to pay the rent in the future. Changing governance structure, suspending the constitution and taking risks in pursuing vision make some collectors of rental payments uncomfortable. Shawchuck counseled, and Swink confirmed, that risks can be taken if the rent is being paid.
|David Swink, second from left
One year ago, congregations gathered around the Bismark Tribune to remember Norman Shawchuck. He was laid to rest on my 39th birthday. As I mark midlife, Shawchuck's writing spurs me to determined effort in the place of despair and doubt.