I am coming out of a monthlong funk.
This month has been a season of wrestling, questioning and struggling. And I’m becoming more and more convinced that it’s not all that bad to be dissatisfied. On the outside, all things have seemed great. Our church has grown. Lots of involvement from our people. Our church is simple, powerful, beautiful and meaningful. But something has been missing. And so the wrestling ensued. Questions. Complaints. Doubts. Insecurities. Lamenting.
Thanksgiving helped me come out of my funk. Taking a couple of days to break away, pray, spend time with my family and a few timely conversations with my wife has really helped clarify things for me.
My journey as a pastor has included a whole lot of wrestling. And the source of my wrestling is that the church (the very thing I am called to lead) can look a whole lot like a really good business plan instead of the beautiful reality of a group of people passionately wrestling, struggling, enjoying and experiencing journey of living out the message of the Gospel.
The call of Christ was never to draw the biggest crowd. It was always to make disciples (Matthew 28:18). It just so happened that when Jesus was spreading the Gospel message, droves of people came. But his motivation wasn’t the biggest crowd. It was giving a pure message of the Gospel.
We are working on some things right now that I believe in deeply. We are working on some things that I believe will shape the future of our community in beautiful, meaningful and powerful ways. The Scriptures clearly show that the charge to pastors is to teach and equip the body (Ephesians 4:12). I’m grateful for our amazing team of pastors, shepherd and leaders. They’ve been wrestling with these same thoughts and I think we just may be on to something.
Pastor Joseph Phillips and our team of leaders are going to be releasing a plan to teach and equip our church family how to engage in the discipleship process. It has everything to do with getting into the habit of regularly reading the Word, journaling thoughts and then gathering once a week with a couple of friends to talk about what was learned that past week. As you read the Word and share the journey with friends, you begin to experience growth that comes from wrestling, struggling and living out the Gospel, both personally and in the context of community.
We will be sharing this plan with our church family at the beginning of 2013. And I’m calling everyone that calls Center City Church their home to dive in with both feet. To experience the fullness of the Gospel, not glimpses of it throughout the week.
I’m learning how to be ok with dissatisfaction. And that dissatisfaction is keeping me from settling for anything less than what God has called us to do at Center City. It’s been a long month of wrestling, but I’m grateful for the journey.
This is powerful. This is life changing. This is the Word of God. This is community. And I can’t wait to see what happens when the Word of God is unleashed across our community.
Let’s do this together.