|Friday, Jan. 10, 2003 || Grappling with that faith thing|
Sometimes I wonder what God is doing.
We have been here over 3 years now, plugging away at this thing called building a church. We are sincere. We are committed. We now have roots in this community. We have a great core group, growing stronger by the week.
So when does the harvest start?
We have seen incredible growth, but not in the way of numbers. I sense God more than ever in our midst. I have grown tremendously on a personal level.
And still, I must admit that it is hard for me to look at the numbers. I wonder why they don’t seem to really be going up. Or when they do, we then suffer a loss. Sometimes I just want to say, “What gives, God?”
I believe a church is an organism, a living thing. The church is the people, not the building. If that was the case we wouldn’t have a church at all because we do not have a building.
Healthy organisms grow. And if you looked at our church at this time last year and compared it to now, you wouldn’t see that. Even though I know we have grown internally, in places not readily seen or even understood by an outside view, I want to see growth.
I hate the numbers game! Yet that is what people want to know about. “How many are you running now?” is generally the first, or at least second, question someone asks when inquiring about the church. If I say really neat things are happening, the response is oftentimes, “Oh, so you have some new folks?”
How I am feeling about all of this is hard to explain. I am happy for our church planting friends whose churches are double, and even triple our size. But it is a two-edged sword, because I am also envious. And I don’t like feeling that way! I try to tell myself that more people just equals more problems, that we wouldn’t have the personal relationships with our members that we do if we were a larger congregation, but I also really want to see those seats full!
And I question if I am doing enough. I know God has called me to serve as worship leader at this time. I am still growing and stretching in this area. My Baptist-women-need-to-just-shut-up-and-sit-up background is a stumbling block to me still. Yet, God has been so gracious, so patient with me, and He is teaching me each day that it isn’t about me, it is about Him. And as long as I am obedient, I am right where He wants me to be.
And I do see Him answering prayers and providing in amazing ways. A new member who is taking over a lot of the administrative load stumbled across an awesome membership tracking program, but it cost $1000. Rob contacted the guy who wrote it and was told we could pay over four months. Sounds good, but we are also on a spending freeze of sorts until the start of our new fiscal year in April. The AG (admin. guru) told his wife, half jokingly, “I would just know even more that God wants me here if he would send someone to give a gift that would pay for this software.” A day or two later, an old friend of ours, now a pastor near DC, called to say that his church is sending a one-time gift of $1000 to our church to use as needed.
How much plainer can God be?
And so I know He is working. Sometimes I just don’t understand how He is working, why He does what He does. Okay, a lot of the time I don’t understand why He does what He does.
I am still grappling with that faith thing.
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