I just reached my limit of fear, confusion, and grief.
I’ve been grieving over the church I left. It was so pretty, and they were so kind to me, and I felt successful at it. Others thought so, too, which is how I got this big promotion.
I have hated the move. I moved from the country to a small town where I’ve been hemmed in by houses and people. It’s noisy and cramped, and I can’t find a place to be alone, although I have felt extremely lonely.
I inherited a dysfunctional group of leaders, some of whom hated me before they even saw me because I was replacing a pastor they loved. They’ve kept things from me. Some have lied to me. One or two have sown great confusion. Several have flexed their economic muscles at me. Many have chewed up my time and energy demanding that I work on their problems.
I’ve been afraid. Of failing. Of losing a job I haven’t really liked. Of being branded a loser by my denomination’s higher organization. Of other nameless demons of the free-floating variety.
Yesterday, my mind cleared. It was during the sermon.
I interrupted myself and said, “Shall I tell you what’s on my heart or shall I be cautious?” I went with my heart:
“I’ve had a bellyful of being cornered in my office, managing this church. There are some folks who have dropped out this summer, and I hope they come back. But that’s up to them. I’m going spend my time bringing in new people who aren’t going to church anywhere. The work of this church is not done by programs or committees. It is done by people who reach out to other people.
“I’m getting out of my office and start doing the things I do best. And that’s focusing on the people. Who’s with me?”
“YES!” I heard two men say.
I’m glad we got that cleared up.
I’ve been clearing up other things, too. It has taken over a year to put effective leaders in the place of some of the old destructive ones.
The knot in my stomach that’s been there for a year and a half is gone. I've found a quiet place in my head. And this just became my church.
It’s about damn time.
I’m getting out of the damn office. I’m done listening to the damn complaints that have clogged my hours since before I moved in.
I’m setting my own damn agenda, and I’m going to do my damn job.
If I fail, it will be at the things I do best.
And I won’t fail.