It’s hard when you start presenting to a spiritual group. There’s a feeling of pull between what you ought to say and what you really think.
I decided early on that honesty and integrity are essential values.
I know I could couch all my thoughts in calm, pious language that sounds like I have attained mastery of my inner life and relations to God.
I haven’t. I am still learning.
What’s a nasty shock is someone who knows how to woo people who then shows their real side; the minister who seems to be welcoming and broad minded but has a definite agenda; the liberals who will only tolerate their own brand of thinking; the cliques.... I guess many people reading this might have found this. New groups have often appeal to those that have been hurt elsewhere... but that’s another topic. Perhaps all I’ll add is that I have been one of those but also keen to move from hurts and gripes to positive growth.
I’m very conscious of the line between the vision I spoke of in the first post and not seeming arrogant and closed, to God and those who would like to be part of the group.
This isn't the Elspeth show; a church is not only a community by definition but our focus is God and I dislike dominant leaders in any brand of spirituality and development. Yet there's also the need to be firmly a leader and to not be pushed off the bench or sat on (as so often happens), without doing so to others. Finding that balance won't always come easily and I know I may get it wrong sometimes.
It'll be a learning process for us all, me too.