bookkeeper and maintenance man?

Thanksgiving will mark two years since we moved to the farm for good (we were in this apartment by Christmastime). Much has changed since then. I think I might take a day retreat in the cabin this week to reflect on those changes.

One change that I've been aware of recently is that I'm getting increasingly involved with the practical aspects of the overall community life. Like organizing a maintenance meeting to handle repairs and maintenance projects for the buildings here, and probably helping with many of those repairs myself. And taking over the bookkeeping for the church, and for the farm next season. I remember my concerns shortly after moving here, about not wanting to be pressured into community work (and get distracted from retreat work), about not wanting anxieties about survival to drive my work. I was thinking mostly about financial and business pressures, which often drive our work. But now I find myself about to be a bookkeeper and maintenance man—how did that happen? It makes me a bit uneasy.

When I think of it, though, I wasn't pressured into either of those things. I just volunteered. Maybe it's that I came to see the real need in those areas, and I seemed to be the one most able to take on those things, to help meet those needs. And they seem to be a service to others, things I don't so much need for myself but that others would struggle and suffer without. So I don't feel pressured to do it except by love.

And maybe I have been able to better distinguish what are real needs (given by God as ways to love each other) and what are self-imposed "needs," driving us by our anxieties and ambitions. For example, I'm not interested in promoting the businesses or making more money, but it does seem a real need that bills and workers get paid and records be accurate. And it seems a real need that we work together so our houses stay in good shape. On the other hand, I'm staying completely out of the current efforts to set up a new form of governance in the community, something that I don't see Jesus calling us to do. Like when the Hebrews demanded a king, when they already had God's governance (only I think the body of Christ is even better than what they had).

It's probably valuable also to show in action that I really do care about the needs of the people here and am committed and intimately involved, though I reject some of their current plans and efforts. And I like being involved on the service level, rather than the manager/leader level.

Or maybe it could be a way of leading from below rather than from above.