The past three months have been quite a blur for my family. We have been dealing with some medical issues with my wife that have consumed a lot of our free time. It has not exactly been the summer we expected.
During this time, we have been journeying with the Apostle Paul through his letter to the Philippian churches. The journey has taken the form of twelve messages (so far) and is coming to a close this week.
It has certainly been an appropriate teaching series considering what we have been facing personally.
It has also been interesting from a congregational perspective. Our congregation has been experiencing a period of unprecedented growth – growth that we cannot account for in any logical way.
Jesus has been calling people to his Church in this location, and we have been running out of breath just to keep up with what his Spirit is doing.
That’s a lot of pressure to be under. I have to be honest. I have been blogging about how I have had to recognize the fact that I can become a chokepoint for the Holy Spirit”s work in the congregation.
Last night, we actually took the first major step in getting out of the way of the Spirit. I handed over the reins of the band to Matt – a guy who God has really equipped with musical knowledge and ability. While I’ll still be involved (and hopefully not falling into old habits), Matt will be taking over the day to day operations for the music team.
I am also putting our financial house in order for our treasurer and financial secretary by walking them through a transition of payroll companies and setting up online banking to make their lives easier.
One of our other elders, Greg, has been working to redefine our process of inviting people on our journey – from the greeters to personal accountability.
And as God moves others to work in these various parts of our journey, I am faced with the challenges of setting aside the busyness of the merger process. The challenges of leading Bedford Road are very different from those we faced in bringing together Heritage and Grace. It truly is a new congregation with a totally different life as a community.
All of this has to be balanced with the personal journey our family will be going through over the next couple of months as Nichole gets ready for yet another thyroid surgery and recovery. As always, God will take us through and bring us out the other side.
Pressure is never fun for those under it, but it refines us and transforms us. We become more and more like the one we have our focus on. For those focused on themselves, they become more and more self-centered. For those focused on Christ, we are transformed into his image.