If I wrote a letter to our church this is what it would say
Posted Jan 03 2013 8:36pm
Dear Church Family, It was just three years ago that we pulled in to our new little town with all our belongings on those U-haul trucks. You remember the ones. Ya’ll sent a huge tractor trailer truck from NC for us and we all thought that would suffice but it actually took a few more U-hauls (hey, a girl has got to have a few pairs of black shoes). This meant a few more U-hauls you graciously unloaded for us. Twice. Yikes! So sorry guys.
As a woman moving to a brand new place it takes time to settle her nest, prayerfully evaluate her place in ministry and build relationships with people she’s never met before. And I appreciate the fact that you gave me the gift of time to figure those things out. You have never made me feel pressured by undo expectations. I came with the freedom to be who God created me to be and you have accepted me for who I am. Thank you for that. I hear it’s not always that way in some churches. My heart aches for the wives of pastor’s being forced to be someone they are not – feeling the pressure to act a certain way because of their “position”. Can I tell you that I don’t take it lightly that my husband is our pastor and that I am his wife. That we are a team and that God called us to this church. Together we pray for, we dream about, we grieve with and for our people. We celebrate with you and we challenge you. We get it right and we get it wrong at times. But this I know, we serve a God who loves the church and her people. God is crazy about us, His people, and even though we mess up and make gangly, awkward mistakes He is constantly picking us up and moving us closer to Him.
I’ve seen God work in our church and grow us up in these three years. He has given us a heart for our community and helped us think outside our own walls. We are able to rejoice with and celebrate with other churches who are also seeking to follow Christ. They may do things differently than us but that’s okay, we’re actually better because of our interaction with them. Do you remember how we had the Community Thanksgiving service at our church two years ago? That was different for us but how God used that in our church to let us see different expressions of worship. And if we’d admit it there was a part of us that wanted to stand up, shout and clap with our African American brothers and sisters in Christ. But we didn’t and that’s okay because we’re all different in how we express to God our worship. But I do see us changing and becoming a little less reserved. And I kind of like that…. a whole lot. I pray for us to have the complete freedom to worship from our hearts – unrestrained, fully devoted, unconcerned with what the pew behind us thinks. That might include clappy hands, shouting, raising hands and becoming more vocal in a service and it may not. God accepts the sincere praise from our hearts at whatever stage of growth or level of expression of worship we are in. He loves us right where we are and yet in His grace he keeps moving us towards him.
I see God’s heart for true Koinonia taking place – community is happening at Community Baptist. People investing in people’s lives. Doing life together outside of Sunday morning and Sunday night. Community is evolving and forming. It’s not happen stance. It’s God sweeping over His church with His Spirit, His Word, and His power. It hasn’t happened over night. And we have a long way to go but I see buds of community life shooting up all over the place. The Word of God is being taught and we, His people, are responding because His Word is alive and active and powerful. And it’s changing us. He is changing us.
Thank you church for loving us. Thank you for trusting my husband’s leadership when it might feel scary or untried before. Thank you for praying for our family. Thank you for allowing us the privilege to shepherd you. I would never pretend it’s easy or pie in the sky – this church leadership thing. It’s not easy. Change is never easy – personally or corporately. Any work that is on mission will try to be attacked by satan and this is not to be taken lightly. But it’s all worth it because Jesus is worthy of following. He is worthy of bringing others along with us in our pursuit of following Him.
So sweet, growing church, let’s continue to grow in grace together and let’s bring others with us and may we always give God the glory for what He’s doing.