New Background

Can You Hear Me Now?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A few days later...

Well, it's been awhile since I've posted...not TOO long...and I just thought I'd post some thoughts I had today.

Paul and I went to a "fellowship group" with the church we've visited a few times. I'm still not completely convinced its 'our' church, but we thought we had to at least go visit some groups and do more than just the Sunday morning experience.

The small group was two other couples...doesn't get much smaller than that. I was a bit surprised because the church is at around 700 people. We purposefully chose a small group that wasn't run by 20-somethings, because we aren't 20-somethings. These 40-something have clearly been together for some time. They know each other. They are friends. It didn't feel like such a great fit, but they were extremely open and inviting.

During the prayer request I shared our request for prayer about the church we are seeking and they asked point blank what it is we are looking for. I looked to Paul and while he searched for his answer I immediately blurted out: "We're looking for a church that lives the mission and vision statement it prints!"

That's when it dawned on me...we've been a part of churches and visited churches that have these incredible and sometimes elaborate mission and vision statements and a 5-fold purpose statement...but they don't necessarily live that out. Sometimes it's due to the evolution of a new or start-up church and sometimes it's timing and it's just too early to see...but sometimes it's clear...the mission and vision are in word only.

I HAVE to be a part of a church with a purpose, a church that truly reaches out...a church that above all...LOVES (like an action verb)! I NEED to be a part of a church that also includes an awesome worship experience (open to interpretation), and has respect and opportunities for ALL God's people to serve. I NEED to be a part of a church of diversity. I NEED to be a part of a church that serves.

Not so long ago I asked my husband what he thought it would be like to be a part of a church full of all the people that had left (or were asked to Leave) other churches...he just looked at me and said he wondered what it would be like to be a part of a church with 100% of the members serving in some capacity, instead of the statistically measured 10-20% of the congregants serving.

And so...we continue in our search and I feel a bit more empty each day. Some days I wonder if it really matters...and my heart says YES and my flesh just shakes its head and so far...I continue to find some reason to stay in the search.

On a more upbeat note...I see how God is using me in the lives of those staff that I supervise. Not a day goes by when one of them doesn't come to me for personal advise or even a prayer request...and so I know God can and IS using me whether I am firmly planted in a church-body or not...and that alone...right enough...


His Singer said...

I've missed hearing from you, Kim!

Stick with it...God has a reason for all of this. Maybe it's just that you'll be able to appreciate the "right" church more once you find it. Or maybe it's to show you that no church is altogether
"together" in the way we all hope it could be.

I hope it's the former!

Dawn said...

We don't fit all your criteria, but our staff has done stats and found that we are more 80-20 than 20-80 in involvement. It is awesome in that way for sure.

I'm happy that you are making a difference with your staff at work.

Becky Wolfe said...

I'm glad you went & tried a group in addition to the Sunday morning thing. Most of us wouldn't go that far. I think that when you find the right church, you'll just know it. Maybe I'm wrong & maybe its one that will take a bit of time to grow on you. Or maybe it will be one person/couple that will make you know its the one. If only all the people of the church had a heart of servanthood & stood behind what they proclaimed! What a united body we could be!

Joy M. said...

Remember all that turmoil I felt over the change in our church. Alot of it had to do with the fact that 90% of the people who went to the "other" church that was merging with ours, actually were people who had left church, been asked to leave church, or had sworn never to set foot in a church. I dont' think we will ever exceed 20-30% serving though because as each new person grows and becomes involved, new people just like them are coming in. It's growing by leaps and bounds. I still question the fact that for "believers" there is so little teaching. Pastor encourages us to grow and seek on our own, but 90% of the effort is REACHING OUT, (and I put it that way to differentiate from "outreach" on purpose) and so many are baby christians that need to be fed "baby" food. So many of them have picked up such worldly and new age theology that they are having to relearn. And teaching them in such a way as to not overwhelm them or offend them to the point that they throw up their hands, takes a lot of care and compassion. Talk about love...? I have never seen it more in action. Am I in church? Well, as a believer, that term could be debated. Am I in ministry? 100% YES!!!!

No more turmoil. I soundly believe that I am where God wants me.

Know what else? Through what I am doing in the church, I got a gig doing what I originally went to college for and had to give up due to having kids. God is so good.

Just throwing all this out to show you that maybe the place God wants you to be, isn't what you expect at all.

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

That's so exciting about your employees coming for advice and prayer! It's a testimony that the world considers you a woman of integrity. And clearly He is using your good reputation on their level to share the better news of His Love on a higher level. The Lord bless you...

maudie-mae said...

I am relatively new to blogging and have been surfing through blogs to see what others do and how my favorite bloggers are growing. I particularly relish your church hunting saga and I hope you will keep us posted on that. Thank you for your transparency