Well, I joined Facebook, and a bunch of Grandview
Nazarene people found me there. That's good. And then I got an email from Dolores about Grandview Naz's 24 hour prayer day for their finances. Do I feel a little guilty? I do. For no good reason.
I think since I started at COR last August I have maybe given $100 total. And that might be generous. $75 is probably more like it. So my little piddly donations would not have helped a bit on the financial front. However it just highlights what is getting more and more ridiculous every week, at least to this sensitive and fastidious soul. You see, I just really believe that you don't change churches lightly.
On top of that, COR is celebrating 20 years, and considering the next 20 years in light of how the world changes and what can be done to continue to fulfill the mission and purpose of the church.
Now, I am not going to review all that stuff relative to changing churches right now. To me in fact the issue of where to go to church boils down to two issues of equal import when the rubber meets the road. Here they are:
1. Is that Body of Christ helping you grow in your faith? Helping you take up your cross and follow Him? Are you getting something out of worship? Does the preaching speak to your heart? Are you learning stuff? Are you fitting in with the Body? Is there true fellowship there?
2. Is there a place in that Body where you can serve? A place to help Christians in the body? A place to serve those outside the Body? Are you able to discover and more importantly, use the gifts, talents and graces that God has given you?
So the right church is a combination of you getting something from it, and them or it (meaning the other members of the body and those outside the body) getting something from you. It is not all about you.
In considering this there are two changes that make the thinking most challenging:
1. Size. Small church verses big church
2. Denomination. Conservative evangelical verse mainline Protestant. (Thankfully, both in the same theological tradition--that Armenian/Calvinist stuff gives me a headache!)
I really think I am done at Grandview. I am just not sure if there is a place for me there in ministry. I'm not sure if it's just because I am not bold enough to make up a place, or to make myself useful or make enough commitment or not humble enough to take on the more humble tasks or what. I just don't feel as if I ever made the transition from seminarian to regular person--it just felt like I ended up in this awful grey zone where I was nowhere and no one trusted me with anything.
Beyond that, I really don't have a clue. And even the proceeding is up for grabs.
Meantime, I am praying for the finances of the Grandview Church of the Nazarene. It is discouraging to minister and have to worry about money. Lord, you are the God with the cattle on a thousand hills. Provide for the church. Prick and convict hearts about giving. Show the Church Board the proper priorities. Help this church continue to minister in Grandview and the area as they have for over 50 years. Amen.