“Situations can change: people can change, Be the first to seek to bring good, Do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it with God.”

– Pope Francis

One of the best things about leading a growing ministry is the energy and creativity that comes from welcoming new team members. The occasional downside is that to unleash that potential, the veteran team members need to not only adapt to new dynamics but also adapt to the new systems or processes that are required to support more people. Our entire team has worked hard all year to collaborate on refining workflows. I’ve been so grateful for their commitment and hard work. And if I am really honest, I am even more grateful that the changes don’t really affect my role on a day-to-day basis. Recently, a process change came creeping into my inbox. There were more than a few people on the email list. In my desire be a team player, I asked if it “really applied to me?” My colleague very kindly responded that in this case, I had been “grandfathered” in and didn’t need to worry about it.

I felt a strange mix of emotions. Pridefully, my first instinct was, “Well of course! I’m the CEO and I’ve been here for 18 years.” Then, I wondered if my teammates were simply resigned to working around me and my tenured quirks. I couldn’t decide if I delighted in my freedom or desired to be imposed upon in this case. My momentary paralysis caused me to wonder: in other aspects of life, leadership, and faith, where else am I “committed” to growth and change as long as it doesn’t require anything from me?

Whether it be our parish or our profession, how often do we lament a lack of new faces, but are unwilling to face the fact that our desire to be comfortable may be an obstacle to their presence? How many times do we expect exceptions until our individual exceptionalism becomes the rule? How many times do we ask the Lord to help us grow in holiness with the unspoken caveat that we want all the gain through only His pain?

With this in mind, and despite my grandfatherly status at CLI, I told my colleague I would work to honor our collective future over my comfort with my past and present. As we consider all of the communities to which we belong, let’s encourage each other to be people who slide into the center of the pew, who move to the front, who create space for others, not because we like change, but because we know that even when we reach grandparenthood, we still need and want the Lord to change our hearts. Prayers for the ways your discipleship flows this week!

by Daniel Cellucci

June 19, 2023

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