At Renovatus we have a manifesto that defines the mission we are on and the culture we are working to create. It has become an inspiring compass for our staff and for our church. (Read it and you will quickly see why!) Pastor Jonathan crafted it last fall and unveiled it during staff retreat, all while I was out on maternity leave! And I admit, when I heard through the grapevine that, “We are a people from the future,” was a part of it, I honestly thought it was a joke. I had no idea what it meant or why such odd sci-fi language had landed in our manifesto. Luckily, I didn’t have to live in suspense for very long before I was able to get a hold of a copy and read this part:
We are people from the future. We act in fearless conviction that the rules have changed and that we are partnering with God to make that change visible. We will not be reactionary to anything or anyone, because the apocalyptic event of the resurrection has already transformed the world.
One read was all it took. Ever since then, I am continually reminded that we really are people from the future. The rules really have changed. And leading in light of that idea is really hard sometimes!
It takes a great deal of discipline and faith to refrain from being reactionary-to the staff, to the budget, to volunteers, to gossip, to the bad weather, to the delayed shipping, to critics, to the Lord. Yet, with a lot of practice and with a lot of help from the Spirit, we learn to press pause. We learn take a moment to see the whole field, to zoom out of present circumstance and consider a larger context. We try praying, or at the very least thinking, before speaking. We give the grace and the benefit of the doubt that we would hope others would give us. We lead with boldness and humility, conscious of the fact that our knowledge is always limited, but confident that the Father’s is not. We assume the best. Not because we are glass half-full, power of positive thinking, bright and shiny people, but because we serve a resurrected Jesus and lead like we really believe it.
Tracey Rouse is Executive Pastor of Renovatus: A Church for People Under Renovation.