Someone suggested it might be good to explain BR leadership structure again. Some of you are newer and haven’t heard this before. Of course, if you ever have any questions you can always ask me or a spud leader. This info is also on our website in a different format - which you can see here: BR Leader Page.
The boiler room has three elder couples, who also serve as our board. These are James and Katie Bleeker, Oliver and Heidi Larrabee, and Tim and Jill Way. The Bleekers and Larrabees have served as spud leaders for more than four years (probably 5 or 6 for the Bleekers) and have consistently given of themselves for this community in countless ways. They have been the epitome of faithful service for years, and have given more time, resources, heartache, and life to the br than we can begin to comprehend. They have received no payment and ridiculously little thanks. They live full and busy lives with work, family, and other pursuits, and yet still give hours every week to serve us all. I am so grateful for them.
In addition to these three couples, two other couples participate in our monthly leader meetings. John and Nicole McVay have been leading a spud for the past two and a half years. Jill and I are part of this spud, not because we are obligated to be, but because we personally need it. Having a more experienced and wiser couple like John and Nicole in our lives is an amazing blessing to us, and the family environment that they have created in this spud consistently nourishes and encourages us. We are so thankful. Micah and Sarah Tilford are our ministry leaders over Thursday Night Light. Before the Tilfords rolled into town, TNL was starting to be a heavy and wearisome burden. Many of us were tiring. Micah and Sarah imparted fresh vision and energy, and this ministry has once again become a great joy and an energizing and significant part of our lives. In addition to TNL, of course, the Tilfords contribute and serve in many ways, and I’m so grateful for them.
Since we have gone down to three spuds, it can seem that our leader team meetings are rather large for the size of our community. However, each participant represents a group that we as a whole are called to serve, and it is significant to have the chance to check in and offer advice and encouragement on a regular basis regarding each of these spheres.
That’s the basic structure — but leadership in the br has always transcended an org chart. The truth is, everyone who is a part of the boiler room influences the whole. This influence is informal and not diagrammed out. It is also stronger in some and less in others. There are probably many factors which impact a person’s influence or leadership in the community. Some of these are: (1) Maturity / quality of life in Jesus. Spiritual power and influence come through the example of our lives. (2) Investment. The ones who invest most heavily into a community — with their time, gifts, availability, etc - will be the ones who exercise the most influence. (3) Initiative. Those who jump in and suggest things and develop ideas and solve problems and do stuff tend to have more sway. (4) Time. Longevity increases influence.
Undoubtedly there are more factors, but these are important ones. It goes without saying that this isn’t by design or intent, but is just simply the way human community tends to work. In the boiler room, we rely on this informal and relational form of leadership maybe more than most. Sometimes this lack of a strong structure can be a little disconcerting, but I think it’s what suits us, and it fits who we are called to be.
Another thought or two - our monthly leader team meetings are not typically the context for most decision-making in our community. Significant decisions about spuds are made in the spuds (such as the recent flurry of changing meeting days and times). It’s the same for TNL. We do our best to incorporate anyone who will be impacted by a decision into the process. In our leader meetings we typically decide on routine things like what weekend to have the Fall Retreat and what time to gather for Lent Prayer. We spend most of our meeting times checking in with the various spuds and TNL, praying, and me leading in a teaching or discussion. If you’re curious about what that looks like, let me know. I’m sure we can arrange for you to come hang out at one if you like.
The bottom line is that everyone in the br is invited to make suggestions, take initiative to begin things, ask questions, and lead. Everyone is connected with a spud leader who can listen to concerns, ideas, and insights. And of course I am open to getting coffee and hearing your ideas.
I love and appreciate all of you. I’m so aware that there’s a lot we don’t get right. But I am so grateful for God’s grace and yours, and for the friendships we share. I’m praying for you.