Wednesday, September 29, 2010

more grown up play

I've been asked to consider taking on a particular role on the committee I've been part of for the last couple of years. I'm not sure if I should.

Reasons to do it:
  • I am probably capable of it
  • I would really enjoy 70% of the job (maybe more)
  • It would take a burdensome load off someone else who is already overworked
  • I believe in the cause. The work of this committee really matters.
  • I understand the issues at stake at least as well as most others
  • No other woman in my denomination is doing a job like this. My taking on this job would make our denomination slightly less of a men's club.
  • I'd get to hang out with interesting people.
  • They've offered to reshape the job so that I could do it.
  • It would make me feel important.

Reasons not to do it:
  • I already do quite a lot of things.
  • Doing this should mean not doing something else. I can't think what I'll give up.
  • It is a trellis task, not a vine task. (But the vine does need this trellis.)
  • It doesn't have anything directly to do with people in my church now.
  • It has nothing (immediate) to do with ministering to women. Should I focus on that?
  • It would make me feel important.


  1. Do it.
    It's a good committee who make the right calls and are taking their work in needed directions.
    If they/you think there's a task you're suited to I'd trust them.
    Unless you know of someone better suited.

  2. Follow your heart. If your heart is divided, wait until it makes up its mind. A list of pros and cons will only get you so far.

  3. I'm going to take aim at 'it doesn't have anything directly to do with people in my church now'.

    I thought you guys had someone as a student minister? Won't they be affected by the committee's work?

    But regardless, and taking on board the danger of 'playing grownups', I'm convinced that it's important to both do and model service of the church outside our own local church. And I say that when I'm at a church which is as well suited to being its own little bubble as anywhere ever could be!

    There's limits, obviously, but the current wise piece of advice I'm working off is the suggestion that you do something for your denomination and something that's outside your denomination. I reckon Emu covers you for the latter, and this committee for the former. And no doubt there's more.

    Really I'm just ranting because I don't think you should be allowed that con ;-)

    Now if it were me, I'd give up going to the gym. But I don't think that'll fly. So I'll take the other approach: would this extra load be able to be dealt with in a coffee shop??!

    As for it being not-aimed-squarely-at-women...well, you're not Amish. I think it's ok.

    But mostly: does it feel like a new project, and will it keep feeling that way?

  4. Jon - my heart says 'yes' to anything new. Trying to get my brain to moderate it.

    Gary - I know no one else at this stage.

    Anthony - Yes. We do have student ministers. They matter. My trouble is that I could spend all my time doing stuff outside my church which isn't healthy.

  5. Yeah you do. Hurry up and come home.

  6. What does Andrew think you should do?
    If taking on the job would mean less time with husband and children because you couldn't drop something else, say no. If you know no-one else, pray God would provide someone.

  7. Tough one, Simone! I'm really keen for the denomination to become less of a boys' club, of course! And I think spending less time with your husband and kids is only a problem if it means you won't be spending enough time with them. But as someone who shares your enthusiasm for doing anything new, I know it requires a bit of discipline to think things through rather than say yes. (I still want you to say yes :))

  8. Helen - Andrew thinks I should make my own decision... But agrees that it would mean giving up something else. Trouble is, I don't want God to provide someone else! I want the job!

    Jo - 'Enough' is such a hard amount to quantify...

  9. If you cut down on the Venn diagrams you'd have time to do just about anything I reckon.

  10. Alistair, perhaps Simone's been asked to do it because word has spread about her superior Venn diagram making abilities??

  11. I'm having a similar problem at the moment. Unfortunately I'm at the start-up of a number of different things. And most of what I'm planning on doing hasn't been done before, so it is impossible to know how much time each thing will take. Then the PTA made an advance upon me...

    So sorry, no advice possible!

  12. I was thinking about this this morning, because I do a lot of organsiational development work and hence am fascinated by how people make decisions. I'm picturing a diagram for you (not a venn diagram, sorry, but you could probably turn it into one), but I'm not very good at drawing them and don't have time to fiddle so I'll describe it to you and your visual imagination can do the rest.

    It's a wave line, moving from left to right accross the page. It begins on an upward curve with excitement when you're first asked - "they love me, I could acheive so much, I could learn so much".

    Then it oscillates downwards to doubt - "am I good enough? will I have time? what will I have to give up? will it turn into a disaster? etc".

    Then the line flattens out in the middle with an "investigation" phase (the current jargon is "due diligence") - "what time commitment is required, for how long? what supports are in place so I can do the job properly (in the organisation and in my life)? is the organisation financially solvent? are there any other hidden traps in the role? how can I manage the changes I need to make in other commitments to take this on? what are the implications of those changes? what is my exit strategy if it turns out I've made the wrong decision?" And other questions which will occur to you along the way.

    Since you're already involved in the organisation you probably know a lot of these answers already, but its always wise to investigate the specific role as in some organisations not everything makes it to the committee table.

    Then at the end of all that is the "sleep test" - "which decision will allow me to sleep peacefully at night?" (if you're an insomniac, insert appropriate alternative).

    Then finally the line splits into a "yes" arrow and a "no" arrow and each of those has a set of actions attached to it, based on the answers to your investigations.

    This would help me but may not help you - everyone's mind/heart/gut is different.