The Loves of My Life

The Loves of My Life

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

a better understanding......

Last night as I lay in bed I was still thinking about why I am so frustrated with our church and why the last few complaints (in blog below) have gotten such a rise out of me. I mean, I love our church, I love the people, I love some of the ministries we have and I love our leadership...especially one guy.....Pastor Paul, maybe you have heard of him..... :) It's not perfect by any means....but I think that's what I love about it so much. It's broken and beautiful all at the same time.

So I had a little chat with God, trying to process my feelings and understand why after 7 years i feel like I am at my wits end. Seven years is along time...and we have had our ups and downs at our church....but my frustrations have always dissapated after a short while. This time....they have lasted and I am trying to understand them better.

Over the past few months our church has embarked on adopting several changes.
Changes to
  • Worship style and schedule
  • Capital campaign for campus improvements
  • Changing the pew bible in the Bridge to the TNIV bible
All of these things have been met with hostility from a contingent of people in our congregation. By themselves, they call for a important discussion, so by no means do I mean to make each issue smaller by clumping them together.
But when I thought about it, I realized that all those complaints and comments come from fear. 

Fear of Change.

I think sometimes our theology that  God is unchanging makes us enemies of change. We forget that God in His perfection looks upon a people of imperfection....and because of that imperfection, change is good and it is needed to keep drawing us closer to the beings God intended for us in creation.

So instead of being part of the "Same place, Same thing" commercial, we need to look inward and see where growth and stretching is needed. I know it's hard.  Most people don't care for change. They like what they like and they are who they are.......but if we could some how help them tap into the potential of change I think we as a church wouldn't be so fearful.

So that is my prayer for the church and for me (and patience for me): that we would be open to change and take a chance on trying it out....who knows what  amazing things may come of change.......maybe something as spectacular like when our nation fought for the end of slavery and won.


The Reverend's Lover said...

I love reading what you write - I linked to your friend Sarah too because her stuff resonated with me right away (hey - open invitation to snoop through your links so I took it :)

Sometimes I picture myself as an 85year old woman in a new church that is upside down (and God is there too smiling on it).

I wonder if worship should be uncomfortable for all of us? 'Cause the moment we get to comfy we may cease to make a difference...dunno...

Rant away - is your blog a safe outlet?

Jodie Howerton said...

This sounds exactly like our story....we've come through some huge change and LOTS and LOTS of complainy people who do not want to change. But, when I look back at the last 4 years, we have made huge strides! Keep you eyes on the prize and trust that God's in charge, even when people suck. :)

Jen White said...

Yes- you can snoop as much as you want. My blogging friends have funny and great things to say, many of them are from college (bible college) so they are in ministry as well and can feel the pain :) and the joy.

Yea- I feel pretty safe. I know there are some people from church who read my blog. But I don't want to hide who I am and give off a false sense of contentment all the time. For the most part they still love me :)

Pot Liquor said...

Jen, I'm not going to pretend that I fully understand your church's plight, but reading this post reminded me of a nation of people who wandered the desert for 40 years all because they feared change. God gave Moses a vision that seemed ludicrous, but hat's how God rolls.

Change is not for everyone, but you certainly miss out on seeing God move miraculously when you settle for comfort.

My church is going through something similar. I don't always agree with the where the money is being spent, but I have to always come in line with the vision that God gave our pastor.

Sarah said...

I'm thinkin' we need to get YOU in the pulpit, girl!

I love your heart.