You know, you start off with enthusiasm, will power and good intentions. You make some progress, you’re feeling better, you have a little bit more spring in your step, it’s easier climbing a flight of stairs, you’re sleeping better. You are confident that with help and persistence you will reach your goal.
And then suddenly one day, all you want to do is eat some chips. Or chocolate. Or cheesecake. Or all three! It’s too hard, you can’t even see the goal any more. In fact, you are not sure if you want to get to the goal. Maybe you’ll just plateau and stay the same. There’s nothing wrong with that is there? Maybe you backslide a bit, you go back to your old habits, you regain some of the weight, and before you know it, you are right back where you started. Where you didn’t want to be. As a serial Weight Watcher, this metaphor makes sense to me when it popped into my head as I woke up a couple of days ago.
The wisdom and success of Weight Watchers is that rather than being a diet, it’s a lifestyle, teaching habits that will last you a lifetime. And just like any habit, if you don’t consistently apply them, they don’t lead to any lasting change. Weight Watchers is really pushing ‘Remember Your Why’ because it is that which gives the ongoing motivation to keep at it when the novelty wears off. Remembering why we are in Interim Ministry, remembering what led to it, can be painful and sometimes it may seem easier to slip back into the old ways. And it may be easier in the short term, but just like anything we do for long term health, short term comfort does not lead to long term health.
Remembering the kind of congregations they said they wanted to be:
Riverview’s Core Values
Focused on Faith
Welcoming, Accepting and Inclusive
Caring for and Being Open to One Another
Connecting with Wider Community
Nine Mile River’s Core Values
Praying and Seeking Faith
Loving, Compassionate and Encouraging
Serving and Engaging with our Community
We are trying to create new habits, new ways of interaction, new ways to handle disagreements and differences of opinion. New ways of being the church! And the old habits are embedded and it takes energy and intention to create and live into the new ones. And it’s hard.
I was appointed by Halifax Presbytery to work with these congregation… through challenges and opportunities. They were called to join me in that ministry. These are the promises we made to one another: To respect and care for each other through times of growth and joy and through times of sorrow and challenge. We promised to support one another with constant love, wholesome example, Christian teaching and faithful prayer, ever mindful of the fact that we are all part of the family of God together. We affirm that on those occasions when we fall short, God’s ever-living grace will help us re-orient again to love. May it be so, amen.
2 thoughts on “Interim Ministry is like Weight Watchers!”
Definitely not easy! Thanks Elaine.
This captures interim ministry so very well, Catherine. It really is the lasting change which makes the difference and while it “sounds easy” it is not.