Many years ago I inherited the Christmas Pageant at our church. Each Fall, Melissa, our Director of Children’s Ministries, reaches out and asks whether I am willing to do it again, I allow as how I had little choice and say yes, another Pageant unfolds, and I can count on a lovely little thank you note from Melissa.
Come next year, I will be several thousand miles away when Christmas rolls around. We began the process of turning over the Pageant to new leadership. Amanda shadowed me this year to discover how much of the work and leadership I had turned over to our high school parishioners. They have all been through the process multiple times, first as angels and sheep, then as shepherds and readers, and finally as directors. My “leadership” consists of giving the older kids space and permission to take ownership of the effort.
The names and faces evolve but the pattern holds. It’s the pattern that I look for and try to understand. Things like the emails and thank you notes are the markers. If the markers lead you to the patterns, that’s good. Markers by themselves are troubling.