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Thinking Aloud - Nov. 2018

11/1/18 | 2018 Thinking Aloud | by Rev. Dr. W. David Thomas

Thinking Aloud - Nov. 2018

For twenty-four (24!) years I worked with Bob Penney.

Bob was our Chief Financial Officer at Bethany Community Services when I was President and CEO.  Bob was not a chiropractor, but he made adjustments. He was not a farmer, but he counted beans. He was not a plumber, but he worried about liquidity and cash flow.

I also played golf with Bob.

He, of course, always kept the score. He often “audited” my strokes. He sometimes asked a second time (loudly and from across the green so that everyone within 200 feet could hear that I triple bogeyed). At game’s end he announced the result (whether I wanted to hear it or not).  

Well, as you can guess, Bob and I are very different. I said he was phlegmatic and myopic; he said I was driven and farsighted.  

Bob sees the trees and I see the forest, even when the branch snaps back in my face.  Bob counts the cost and I see the opportunities, even when there is not a dime in my pocket.  Bob resists change and I look for improved methods, even when nothing is broken.  Bob sees the screen door and I look through the screen and walk into the door.

This is David Thomas thinking aloud that the scriptures often encourages us to work together seeing our differences with others, not as an impediment, but as an opportunity.

“Don’t think of yourself more highly than you should but rather think of yourself with humility. Just as each of us has one body with many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function, so we who are many form one community . . . . We each have different gifts". (Romans 12.3ff).

Likewise, Shea and I are quite different. Both devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. Both pastors. Both love our wives and families.

Still, we are very different in terms of our gifts and persona. And whomever the congregation sees as God's choice in this succession plan to be a next pastor (whether
Shea or someone else), this same truth will hold. They are much more likely to be dissimilar to me than to be similar. 

This as good! The strengths of our next pastor will compensate for my weaknesses. Their persona will attract those mine has turned away. Their gifts will balance mine.

We do not need another Moses.  We need a Joshua.