This post wasn’t what I was expecting, given the source was “Hearthstone Community Church’s February 2014 newsletter”. I think everything it has to say is very intelligent, and also useful to me as a reality check on my leadership style.
I have always struggled with concerns about how to be an effective, ethical spiritual leader. Lately I have been increasingly concerned about how to not be financially dependent on my partner or family, while still having the time and focus to be the full-time clergy I feel called to be.
One of my congregants recently suggested that our meetings begin including a collection jar, to offset my costs. At first I balked – my contributions to the meetings are intended as my share of the potluck. Belatedly, I realized three things.
1: This counts under the general heading of Freyja having forbidden me to refuse people’s gifts and payments if they value my service and skills. I’m only to refuse payment if the process of delivering said payment would somehow place me or someone I love in danger. (i.e. I’m not obliged to give my home address to someone I don’t trust so that they can mail me a gift.)
2: If I were being reimbursed for my expenses, I could furnish our rituals and meetings with better supplies.
3: I shouldn’t assume the rest of the congregation would balk, as long as contributing was voluntary, and no one is turned away for lack of funds.
This article reminds me what really matters in leadership ethics. I appreciate the help.