One sign of a healthy church is how well it can get along without its leader. It’s not that good leaders aren’t important, it’s that really good leadership entails delegation, cooperation, training and encouragement of others in leadership positions. It appears that even in Pastor Jim’s absence, his skilled leadership has prepared us well to get along without him for a few months.
We have passed the halfway point in Jim’s sabbatical – and in honor of the way Jim thinks – let’s pause for a half-time assessment of our progress. I know life isn’t the same without Jim – in fact, it is in his absence that we realize just how much we appreciate and depend upon all he does on an ongoing basis. But in several ways, I am very proud of the lay leadership of the congregation as we continue to carry out the important ministries of Lakeshore – proving that they are truly Lakeshore’s ministries, not just visions of its pastor. Let me highlight a few of the ways in which we continue to carry out the church’s important work – even without our fearless leader:
- The Hunger Walk celebrated its 30th year and had over 70 walkers and countless contributors raising funds for the hungry and homeless in our community.
- Lakeshore’s Local Organizing Committee (LOC) continues to work for better educational opportunities for high school students and will be hosting a significant Action to help close the achievement gap and increase graduation rates for Oakland Tech students – find out more about this important Action in this Transmitter, and save the date of June 14 at 6 p.m. to partner with us.
- Departments and Church Council continue to carry out their important work, discerning in community how to carry out the mission of the church.
- The Alliance of Baptists will feature an article on some of Lakeshore’s partner ministries (The Samaritan Neighborhood Center and The Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate) in its next publication.
- Worship continues to provide opportunities for us to encounter God and one another in meaningful ways – and offer a healthy image of Baptist churches to our visitors.
- The congregation continues to meet weekly to study God’s Word and pray together.
- Karen Okusu has set up a fabulous Forum Series for July and August entitled “Seminarians Discuss Social Issues.”
- The summer is packed with great opportunities to picnic together, play together, camp together, retreat together, work, witness and worship together.
Well done Lakeshore! Let us keep up the good work that we have been called to, and keep discerning together where God’s Spirit is leading us.