A Pastoral Word
Update from Visioning Team:
The Visioning Team continues to meet and continues to discern a structure of ministry for our church. It has been a long and frustrating process. I mentioned at this past board meeting that it felt like we were “spinning our wheels” and nothing that we came up with seemed right or seemed to fit our needs. And then a member of the Visioning Team spoke. She said, “We can’t seem to let go of our by-laws or to see beyond them. Whenever we come up with an idea, we always “check it” against our constitution. We want a structure of church leadership that will work but it is a scary thing, letting go of a way that has worked in the past.”
And that is the key. Our by-laws worked in the past. They have helped us function as a church for years and years and now we have come to the point where they just aren’t working anymore for our church. According to our by-laws, we need about 77 people to fill all the church leadership positions for this church. And we usually have about that number in church on Sunday. So now, members are having to do “double-duty” and serve on several committees. And I think it is safe to say that maybe we all feel that as a church we are all spinning our wheels and are burning out quickly.
So what is the answer?
At our last Visioning Team Meeting, we took a moment and named the items and feelings that are preventing us from moving forward in this process. We took a moment and named our fears. We had an open and honest discussion with each other about this Visioning Process and our frustrations and then went to God in prayer. We asked God to give us the strength for the journey. We asked God to give us the energy for the journey. We asked God to help us put aside our fears, to put aside our frustrations, to open our hearts and our minds to God’s word for us as God’s people.
And at the end of the meeting, one of our team members reminded us again why we were doing this Visioning Process. “We aren’t changing simply for the sake of change. We are changing and transforming because what we are doing isn’t working anymore.” We aren’t able to live out our mission of WELCOME fully in our current structure. We aren’t able to live out our calling as people of faith fully because we are using up a lot of our energy just trying to figure out how to function as a church.
We are going through this Visioning and Transformation Process so that we can be God’s church, God’s hands and heart here in the Midway community, here in the Woodford County community, here in the Bluegrass, here in KY, here in the US and here on God’s earth. We are going through this frustrating and long process so that our focus shifts from an inward focus to an outward Kingdom focus.
As I write this article, I am reminded of a pottery class that I took in college. On the very first day of class, we were warned “Don’t let your clay get dried out. You can’t use it then until you go through the rewetting process.” I should have paid attention to my professor because not long into the class, I let my clay get too dry and had to begin the rewetting process. First, you have to take the pieces of dried clay and place them in a bucket of water and they have to stay for several days, maybe weeks. Then you have to pull out the clay and work with it, make it pliable and then cut it into a block for reusing. It is a long, frustrating process when you have the deadline of throwing so many pots to pass the class!
As our church goes through this Visioning and Transformation process, we are also going through a rewetting process. The waters of our baptisms have renewed us and refreshed us as we embrace our mission of Welcome. And now, the Potter’s hands are working with us and making us pliable once more. The Potter is stretching us and transforming us. The Potter is preparing us to become a great vessel of love, of grace, of mercy, and of hope for this community. The Potter has in mind a beautiful container, filled with peace and welcome that will be called Midway Christian Church.
So the answer is that the Visioning Team has decided to step away from the process of “getting something on paper” and to begin a process of intentional pray and reading of Scripture. We ask that you please keep this team in your thought and prayers as we discern God’s vision and wisdom for us as Midway Christian Church.