From Bitter to Sweet in 5 hours flat (Part 1)
July 9, 2006
This year as co-chair of our “young adult” group was challenging. Members of our steering committee who committed to serve flaked out leaving us with a larger than expected work load. We made several dramatic decisions (with due process) that people who founded the group were upset about. I felt a lot of pressure about keeping up the technical side of our group, some of which I wrote about earlier. My co-chair and I were the people everyone complained to and who people in our group and in the larger church wanted things from.
Even though I was dealing with adults, I could relate to the harassed look mothers of young children sometimes have. Like a young mother, sometimes the only thing to do to get relief from being pulled at and demanded from is to institute some discipline. We set rules and boundaries, and I went from feeling harassed and unappreciated to feeling gruff and curmudgeonly.
It wasn’t all bad, I enjoyed leading the meetings, especially as the new format for our steering committee meetings cut them down from a couple meandering hours to one very productive hour a month. Our goal was to empower people in our group, and soon people realized that if they complained they better also be ready to step up and do something about it. This brought out leadership in some unexpected people, and they started to take ownership of the group, which is what we wanted. I loved working with my co-chair who has natural leadership ability and who I continually learned so much from.
Still, with my new job, the downsides of being a leader, and the suprisingly upsetting behavior of a guy at our church who I have been feeling harassed by, I was ready not only to be done with leadership in our group, but maybe with our group altogether.