Tuesday, August 18, 2009
One Year On
We have now been here for one year. Have I made any difference? What's my review of the year contain?
It was long journey to get here, in terms of stepping out big time into the unknown, resigning from not one but two jobs with only one job being concretely offered at the time of resigning, house sale in the middle of a property slump, having to rent and do the whole "store your possessions in a room" thing then renegotiate a lease when house didn't sell, then once it had sold, buying a house and moving into it while trying to finish theology finals blah blah you get the picture if you hadn't been following it.
And that's only the mechanics bit.
We've had to change a lot of our terminology - no-one knows what we mean by a "wall song" here :-), the amount of equipment/resources that have to be moved from building to building, the number of services Lynn attends (this is a multi multi service church) some of the way we relate to others has changed, we've had to make new friends, learn to cope with change in theological practices in a couple of things, cope with a shift in emphasis in others, understand different ways of responding to even more things that crop up in a church in the middle of rapid growth and transition.
And that's not even beginning to deal with the financial implications of moving and the educational issues around our kids, who only now are beginning to feel settled. So why did we do it? I'm not the main pastor, who leads the church. These are the people who move locations cross-country(s) most often. I'm not one of the leadership team of elders. In other words, whereas I can make a difference in some areas, there are big areas of church life where what I do doesn't really influence things - nor should it necessarily?? Its the only negative I can see of "specialist" staff appointments and I speak as one who's been in two.
To be obedient to God. He loves the children of this church SO MUCH that he called our family to move, to come, to THEM. And I tell the precious children here this fact often, that God loves them so so much and that I do too.
I've had a year of laying down a tight vision and some foundations of children and family ministry, teaching a little on theology as it pertains to children, building teams, getting to know each and every child by name, visiting families, (establishing accurate records and safeguarding procedures!!! So important!) linking in with families in the community and looking to see how we can offer support to family life and most important of all, welcoming the refreshing presence of God into everything concerning the aforementioned. Dry, oft-repeated stories rattled off on Sunday mornings only are not enough any more and I'm longing to see on-fire children, confident of who they are in Christ, standing alongside adults and family members, reaching out into the local community. I've most enjoyed the children's discipleship group and our weekend away where we worshipped freely and tenderly enjoying the Father and some great outdoor activities as well as prayer and teaching :-) Highlight of the year.
But the task ahead of me feels so huge, and there are things I'm praying to see happen that just can't at the moment. I can't specify the constraints here but I'm carrying them alone at this point of the summer vacation. I'm longing for and anticipating more in every sense (more children, more children with support needs who we can help, more families who find a safe place to be together, more team members, more children moving on in their relationship with God, more of God's presence whenever we meet) but I need more hands on deck alongside me. If you're a blog reader and pray-er, please do pray for me and what's ahead this year. It's a biggie and there are some exciting possibilities ahead!