In our regional staff team we joke about our “superpowers”. These are fun, amazing skills each of us have that we like to joke about - for example, one of us can tetris 7 people’s luggage and equipment into the back of van in a matter of minutes, and another can knit fruits, veggies and animals out of yarn. But it is also a representation of our recognition that each of us brings unique skills and perspectives to the table and that we each have areas where we aren’t as strong as some of our colleagues. We have learned that we are Better Together.
This is why, when you call your primary contact, they may refer you to one of the other members of our team. Your primary contact recognizes that there may be others on the team more knowledgeable and better prepared to help your congregation with whatever issue you are currently facing. We want you to have the best help we have available to you. We recognize that it's impossible for one person to know everything and have complete expertise in all areas of congregational life. If we did, it would be exhausting keeping up with everything! So we depend on our teammates to cover the gaps.
The attitude that we should know everything and be able to handle everything by ourselves is one of the features of European-centric white culture. It’s a hard cultural norm to break - to accept the fact that I do not know everything, nor can I possibly know everything. Which leads to an even harder action - admitting to others that I don’t know something or someone else might be better suited to help in this particular situation. But when I do, I open up the opportunity for all of us to learn together as a team and for the congregation to receive the best assistance they can get. We can and should learn together.
This summer and fall, many of our congregations and clusters will be welcoming new board and committee members as you gather together to plan your church year. This year I ask that our congregational leaders approach this introductory time with a new view. Ask yourselves and each other - what is your Superpower? What unique knowledge and perspectives do you bring to the table? What do others bring as well? What can you learn from your fellow leaders? And just as importantly, what is your weakness? What areas are you unsure of? In having these conversations with your group, you may be surprised to learn that the areas you feel weakest in are the areas others feel strongest. Or you may find that no one is confident in an area and your group needs to call in some outside help. That’s the beauty of working as a true team, supporting each other and learning together. We are Better Together.
What is your Superpower?