Transition Thoughts - It's Not About Me
As I start getting my head around the fact that God has called us out of our current ministry and is sending me to be a part of a new church, I have a lot of thoughts/prayers/hopes/dreams for the friends and family at this church. As I spend the next 4 weeks prepping volunteers and documenting ministry guidelines and procedures I'm just struck by the different aspects of ministry that I've learned over the past 2.5 years.
So... I figured that while in this transition between two churches I'd share just a few of the things floating around in my head and heart. I figured I'd share my deepest prayers for the church.
The first is It's Not About Me.
One thing I love about this church is the fact that it came out of a very conservative Mennonite tradition. The fact that these people had the guts to follow what God had called them to is incredibly impressive to me. They risked losing family and friends who are religious legalists in its strongest form... all for the love and the grace that Jesus promises to each and everyone of us. Those founders totally ROCKED to be that faithful! They understood completely that it wasn't about them. Everyone needed to hear that message. So they left legalism to be a church community that taught what the Bible says... and to show the love and grace of Jesus in this part of the world.
Now, all these years later, the church is presented with another opportunity to live out the reality that it's not about me. As our building expansion draws closer and closer we are presented with the opportunity to be reminded that we are not building a bigger building so that we can sit around and benefit from more Christian programming for Christians to enjoy. It's a tool to show the love and grace of Jesus to a new generation of people who might be very far from God... people who may NEVER walk through the doors of a church...
This expansion is not about me... but it's all about HIM. The one who died for my sins and washed me cleaned. The one who sees me as perfect and a saint. The one who wants none to perish! This new gym... this new cafe... this new youth center... it's not for us. It's for them!
Our natural instinct is to go to the familiar... our natural instinct is to think about our needs. Will a bigger church building be a great thing for the people who already know Jesus and call this church home? Of course! But over this past year... pretty much every time I could get in front of a microphone I would always remind the people that this tool is not for us... God wants to use it to reach people far from Him. Sure... maybe I said it a few too many times... and sure... I may have even flat out offended some church regulars with that message... but the truth be told, I'm totally OK with that :-)
So, my biggest prayer and desire of my heart is that the people of Woodside that I care so much about will never forget that IT'S NOT ABOUT ME. Your salvation is already secured. Never forget that this new building is a fantastic gift from God to impact this community around us for generations to come! Just like the founders of this church... think about the expansion of the kingdom of God and do not revert to our instinct to think simply of our needs and our desires...
It's not about us.