Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Leaving and staying

The sky is creeping tangerine across a steel gray expanse, and I'm feeling blue.

95% of the time I believe that God sent me to my church to help God turn it around: to help God's people here discover a vibrant, living, active, passionate faith, and to help others find it too. (As I write this sentence I realize what "turn it around" means to me. Who knew?)

100% of the time I know that "turning it around" will mean that many people who have affiliated with the church for a long time but who don't want what God is doing there right now will leave. 95% of the time I'm not happy with that, but I'm okay with it.

Today, I'm living in the 5% of both those things: I'm not convinced God sent me to do this, or that it's the right thing to do, or that I'm doing it rightly; and I'm not okay with the sheep who are quietly wandering off. And they do it quietly... they just slip away, without comment, their memories lingering, their ministries abandoned.

It's not the loss of numbers. I really do not care about that. But I am deeply afraid that God's lambs will wander into the hands of wolves, or simply out onto rocky promontories, alone. If they find another church community and a faith that feeds them, makes them stronger and more at peace, that's wonderful. Go with my blessing. But the potential loss, and lostness, makes me grieve.

Yesterday I was angry at the lack of accountability and straightforwardness. Today I am just sad. It's grief.

Friends, if you read this, please pray for Jesus' lambs, that as they leave our fold they find another that nurtures and sustains them. And if you have an extra prayer left in you, pray for Jesus' church in Campbell, and for me, their rather blue pastor.

1 comment:

Songbird said...

Elane, you and they have my prayers.