Minimizing the Risk of the Silly Season

Posted: May 19th, 2023

He had to admit, it disturbed him. He later began to understand a little of what the innocent feel when falsely accused.

The occasion lent rise to false statements, speculation as fact, and an abundant amount of curiosity. It was the weeks leading up to another conference session.  Somehow, without knowing his thoughts or his movements, someone boldly declared that he had been engaged in political manoeuvrings, a kind that was better suited to gutter politics.

After the initial shock of hearing the accusation, he later said it gave him an appreciation of the pain of the innocent.  At least, all he had to deal with was the accusation, not imprisonment or death as some are when wrongly accused of a crime.  The accuser had simply believed his assumptions and caused pain for someone else.  All because it was a conference session.

Some call it “the silly season” because conference sessions seem to arouse silly behaviour among us.  It seems to excite some people.  The thought of affecting personnel change attracts others. Maybe it gives them a sense of accomplishment.  Yet, I wonder if we look at what is needed rather than who should be the ones in office.

A conference session is held for two reasons but we seem to give our attention primarily to the elections. The other reason—a business meeting receiving reports of the past term and considering plans for the new—is just something we endure while waiting for another report from the nominating committee.

Even before we start thinking of who should be leading the conference, doesn’t it make sense for us to first look at where we are in terms of our goals and objectives?  At both the provincial and local church levels we should ask, “Have we been following where the Holy Spirit was leading?  What has been the progress of the church? Are we accomplishing what we set out to do? Does the Holy Spirit want us to continue on this track?”  Or, “Where do we need to go from here?”

It is only when we have considered these questions that we should look at whom the Holy Spirit wants as leaders. It’s His church, after all, and that’s how He led the early church—the mission first and then the people to lead in carrying it out.

When the mission is first considered, it minimizes the risk of the silly season. It takes us away from how the world operates and helps us focus on what is supposed to be a highly spiritual event.  When we consider a conference session in terms of the mission, it should move us to want to pray for the presence, power and leading of the Holy Spirit.

Rather than seeing ourselves as bystanders while the nominating committee and delegates determine the outcome, we all have the opportunity of praying for the Holy Spirit to take control of all that takes place.  Your prayers can and will make a difference in the outcome of the June conference session. So, let’s pray.