Tying these Sign Posts into the DSC Leadership Transition

[Part 2 of Jonathan’s talk on “Going to the Hills” from DSC Conference 2018. Read Part 1 here.]

As individuals we are in different places with art, Jesus, friendship. But as a community, here is where see the DSC.

We are headed into a thunderstorm, and on up the mountains.

To do this requires some changes:

  • Trust transfer: look back to our beginnings and tell stories. Apply that trust from past experiences to what’s ahead.
  • let God reposition us. The shape and roles that got the community through the last 15 years of exploration and wilderness will not take us through this thunderstorm and the mountain climb ahead. We must climb through the small door, taking off the backpack and leaving it behind filled with roles and expectations and successes, failures and hurts — and take the roles that we are given on the other side. New people will take roles too. Our community will change drastically.

Actually this has already started. We hit a wall with our spiritual identity and a new team formed and led us through this. Benjamin Metz, Amber Butler. Since then the team discerned Amber as the point leader, and added Justin Fike. We asked Jason, Nate, Megan, Adam and the Reuels to be part of another team of working artists whose function is still emerging. Everyone is being shuffled — it’s time to step up, step back, new people are leading, etc!

This is not easy.

In the middle of my joy at what has been emerging, I wrestled hard with my failures, regrets and shame. I drifted towards isolation and this new team called me back to the path. Now they are sending me out into the wilderness for my second sabbatical.

As I prepare to go, I bless and celebrate what is happening here. I can’t wait to be a part of it. I recommend them to you and celebrate and submit to their leadership.

A few thoughts about Amber as she steps into DSC’s point leader role:

She was the first person Christa and I mentored. She appeared early in our married life in the middle of the first wave of Art exploration and prophetic ferment that included Ben, Nate and others who are here.

She went out of her way to get time with us. She wrote quite good poetry and asked endless questions.

As the years passed the relationship became more mutual. She entered a prolonged spiritual wilderness. She submitted to intense leadership training by serving in support roles for a number of organizations that cultivated her natural gifts for naming things and finding common ground. She and Nate grew businesses and bands.

When we hit a calling/spiritual identity wall last year, she was part of the team that led us through the narrow door in that wall.

Now she is being called forward. She’s shifting positions in the relay race to the front. The leadership team has multiplied to two teams and these teams are  preparing for a great wave we are invited to ride.

I can’t wait to be a part of this, and I commend Amber and the team to you with these words from TS Eliot and Paul, that hint at where we are and where we are going:

These things have served their purpose: let them be.
So with your own, and pray they be forgiven
By others, as I pray you to forgive

Both bad and good. Last season’s fruit is eaten
And the full fed beast shall kick the empty pail.
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice. (Eliot)

The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. I Cor. 4:20

God gives power to the faint, and increases the strength of the weak. Is. 40:29

The finite self is hopelessly peripheral, but if its elements can be brought into order they may vibrate, though at an infinite distance, in harmony with the divine pattern. (Eliot)