Friday, 7 August 2009
Had a really fantastic day yesterday with hubby and daughter - they really know how to loosen me up and help me to chill out! At the driving range I shot a 125!!!! By sheer fluke rather than any skill!!!
So while we were out, driving up the coast, soaking up the sights, I was thinking about church. I've been chatting to God about my strengths and weaknesses as a leader and doing some inward assessing. Church growth and personal change must be intentional rather than leaving it to 'fluke'. You can't fluke good churches, you've got to build them. So I've been praying and planning how to build up our folk at church and how to reach out to our community more effectively.
While I was chatting, I realised that God hadn't got a word in edgeways...I shut up and listened...God said, "Yes that's great Nichola but can I show you something that hindering you?"
I would love to say I shouted "YES LORD SHOW ME!" but it took me a few moments while I prepared my heart..."Ok God, talk to me". God showed me how I was holding on to sentimentality. Now it took me a while to unpack this with God. Excessive or inappropriate emotion...where am I holding on to this? Ahhh, "the way things used to be" - that's where I'm holding sentimental images and ideas - "the good old days".
We have lost alot of folk from our church over the last few years (as most churches do) but without being aware of it, I was lingering after the days when we had a full leadership team, an administrator, a growing pastoral team...and now we're like a new baby church plant. We've got a great group of people who love God but it will take time to build up again. I'm so for it! And yet there was part of me comparing with how we used to do it.
"God I'm so sorry". God then said, "Let go of the relic and embrace the revelation of the NEW".
So that's where I'm at. John the Baptist's advice holds: take an axe and chop at the root of the problem first. That's sincerity, not sentiment. That's "get real," not mushy and gushy.
Time to cross over...