It’s no secret that I’ve found this a hard church. It hasn’t helped that I grieve for my last church where I was comfortable and did a good work. They put me in this larger, more pretentious one that tries to keep me in my place.
I remember I was sitting in my office a couple of weeks ago, wondering what to do with myself and wondering what would happen next.
And then I realized I had let them do a number on me. No matter what they think or try, they do not lead this church. I do. And as such, I don’t wait for things to happen. I make them happen.
I think part of their frustration may be that I let them take control.
I put a message on my screen saver: “Do the Work.” And that’s what I do.
I go out to the people. Speak loudly with a big smile. Tell them how much I like them even while they’re complaining. I hug them and tell them how great they are, while I ignore their bitching and moaning.
On Sunday morning I found a boy sitting in the foyer in major pout mode. I sat next to him and said, “What’s up with you?”
“I don’t want to come to church.” He moped.
I nodded companionably.
“I understand,” I said. Then I put my arms around him, kissed him on his head, and said, “But you need to understand that no matter how you feel, I’m really glad to see you. Oh, and you can’t stay out here. Go to class.”
BTW, one of the things that makes this place bearable are the children. We have a preschool here during the week and I make an appearance most mornings where they surround me with a group hug. It’s the highlight of my day.
Something else is happening. The old guard—the ones who have been so protective of their turfs, and have tried so hard to keep me out. They’re getting tired. Some are sick. Others are overwhelmed with life problems.
I’m getting my second wind. Maybe I’ve outlasted them.
I might not succeed in this church. But if I go down, I’ll go down my way and not while I’m at my desk wondering what’s going to happen to me.