“Ok, so…” I said firmly, “if we want to get the program going, I need you to stop by the library and pick up registration forms of all the families. Can you do that for me?”
Deanna* and I had been meeting to plan out our summer activities with the Westside community member team. A Westside mother of two, she has a deep passion to work for her the prosperity of her kids and the neighborhood as a whole. Since tutoring would be done in June, we were formulating a plan to help the students to participate in the summer reading program at the library.
“I might forget,” Deanna said sheepishly as she grinned at me across the table, “can you remind me?”
I grinned right back.
“No, I can’t,” I said, “but have you ever used phone reminders?”
“Then let me show you how.”
Empowerment, leadership development, discipleship- they all take time. And it takes some hand-holding. Sometimes that means helping someone to lead a meeting, or showing him or her how to set phone reminders.
But sometimes it requires letting go of the hand. If you hold too tightly, the growing leader won’t get to try and fail on his or her own.
This is where we’re at in the process of leadership development on the Westside - slowly letting the community members take more and more of the burden of leadership, and letting them feel the consequences of their mistakes. Sometimes it feels harsh and unloving… but ultimately it’s the most loving thing we can do.
Because we’re not in this work to control Westside ministries with an iron grip. We’re in it to help folks on the Westside find the Holy Spirit at work in each of them, and to unleash that Spirit into the community.
Truly, He can empower us far beyond our weaknesses, sins, and our forgetfulness.