A couple of months ago our church hired a new senior pastor, Matthew. He and his family are moving here from England but haven't yet sold their house so he's not working for us yet. This week they're here visiting to get a feel for some local neighborhoods in order to eventually buy a house here and get their kids in school, etc. After church today we had a reception to officially welcome them to our conregation and it was the first time Andy and I talked to Matthew. I feel better now because although I don't expect him to remember our names or where we live or any of that stuff, we've met. He's heard our names and seen our smiling faces. And when we moved to the other side of the room and he came around meeting people, he remembered that he'd met us 30 minutes and 25 people prior.
Also impressive was his comment that they know our congregation will support them and that we're allowed to register our opinions with him. I know that Brian, our out-going senior pastor, has to say that we're not to complain and we're to be 100% supportive but, honestly, I've heard him say that about too many things and it creates a feeling, at least with me, that I'm not allowed to ever disagree with something about our church. I do have negative opinions of some things and I'm sure everybody does. I don't expect that most of them matter a whole lot because it's not like a large group of people can all be satisfied at the same time. I realize that. But I also realize that when people have bad feelings about what's going on with something very important and they're not allowed to share that, they'll feel very separated.
I do intend to support Matthew and Lisa and their kids and I intend not to complain about things that really shouldn't matter. But when something does matter, I intend to expect my opinion to be registered and I think that will happen with Matthew at the helm.
I have low expectations in the sense that I don't want to expect too much when all I could be is disappointed, but I have high expectations in the sense that I won't be surprised if Matthew does a really, really good job leading our congregation.