and I have turned on a little of BBC 3 which is presently webcasting Through the Night
I need some time to chill down a bit. These meetings always get me going and this one was no different in that regard. I should add that it was a good meeting lest anyone read anything into my energy. But church congregational meetings can get crazy sometimes, because people are people and sometimes we get in the way of the Spirit's ability to work in us.
I have, over the past ten years here, occasionally brought up my concerns with where the church's trajectory was heading. Usually more inward than outward focused kind of a concern. And each time the response has been interesting in that easy answers are given for the direction we were headed and that things would turn around in the fullness of time. My experience on the Covenant Bible College Board has taught me much more about that kind of response. (We had to close it last year.)
We have an amazing capacity as human beings to see a direction being followed, and to boldly declare that the end result will be different than the direction we seem to be going in right now. We can tell ourselves the most amazing stories that we then believe. In spite of seeing the reality of whats before us, we can deny, suppress, or ignore it with amazing conviction.
Tonight we talked with charts and projections and the clarity of peoples lives. That seemed to have helped a lot. We need to continue to move towards being a community that cares about one another even more, and a community that is a safe place for people to explore their connections with God.
To create safe spaces for people to explore their heart and faith and to find relationship and Life.
I mean, to do those things above seeking the status quo, not just for us but for the thousands that are dying for those things.
"They" say it takes up to twelve years to change a church culture. I sure hope it's a little less than that, but I understand that statistic. I understand why new churches and church plants are the places that the spiritually homeless find home. I understand why its so difficult to change a 50, 60, or 70 year old church and why it may be a better investment, to start a new church rather than to try to change an old one. I understand all these things and I've understood them from day one here.
But here is where I have been called to be, and though I continue to listen for God's leading in my work and life, here I work and call these people to the places God has for us to go. And tonight I felt like I was heard.
So lets see where He leads us. This could be interesting, or deeply painful. And often those are just two sides of the same coin.