One of the more memorable numbers in the hit Broadway musical The King and I was entitled “Getting to Know You.”
Two lines in particular come to mind:
Getting to know you
Getting to know all about you...
You see, I believe that one of my first tasks as your pastor, perhaps my main task initially, is simply taking the time and making the commitment to get to know you and, in turn, make it possible for you to get to know me. This will not happen overnight, I realize, nor will it be accomplished with just a few, short interactions. So it will require some intentionality on both of our parts.
For me, it will require making myself available to visit with all of you in your homes, or offices and places of employment, or anywhere else that seems to make the most sense. For your part, I would merely ask that you think about the best time and place for us to meet in order to spend some time getting to know each other.
Of course, for many, if not most of you, this will involve my coming to visit in your homes and having the chance to meet your entire family. For others, however, meeting for coffee or lunch, or stopping by your workplace, might make more sense. I’ll leave that up to you.
I am going to start this process by first spending some time getting to know the members of the Call Committee, who have agreed to serve as my initial “Pastoral Relations Committee,” and also the Congregation Council. I hope to accomplish these visits/ contacts by the end of September. At that point, I will then begin visiting with everyone else in the congregation.
In order to facilitate this, beginning in October I want you to look for a sign-up sheet that will be posted on my office door indicating the days and times during the upcoming week that I will be available. This way you can check your own schedules and availability and “sign up” for an appointment time that works best for you. Don’t worry if you’re not available right away. We have plenty of time to do this. Again, it’s not going to happen overnight. It will take a while, months I’m sure, for me to get around to all of you.
Just so you know, there are two basic goals that I have set for these visits. The first, again, is simply to get to know all about you; where you’re from, what you like to do, etc.
My second goal, however, is to also spend some time specifically talking with you about HOPE:
• What do you feel are the main challenges facing our congregation at the present time?
• What is your dream or vision for Hope’s future?
• Are there any programs or ministries that you personally have a need for or interest in, that aren’t currently available at Hope?
While there may also be some formal fellowship events to help us get to know each other, not to mention informal conversations on Sunday mornings, I nevertheless feel that these one-on-one visits are also a great way to help us to get to know each other.
Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to it!