Situation one: I’m reading a whole bunch of church planter blogs, sharing fantastic stuff about growth and vision and reaching folks who seem to ache for the presence of God. They’re passionate; they’re excited; they’re real and not scared of taboo subjects; they’ve gone through good times and bad, acknowledge that, and continue on – all glorifying God.

Situation two: I’m looking at sites that talk about small group growth, groups of folks meeting together without a paid hierarchical leadership, organic growth. They’re talking about day-to-day relationships and community and accountability and training that relates to the practical rather than the theoretical.

Situation three: I’m reading blogs from my denomination praising and criticizing why it’s good to be a member. Some folks have been direct and critical in their assessment; many have responded by seeming to “draw in the ranks” – laud certain aspects of the denomination or proclaim that that characteristic is not a bad thing or ignore the state of the denomination. Instead of humbling, it seems to have caused some arrogant and prideful comments: not a whole lot of turning and repenting going on.

Situation four: I’m on a board for that denomination focusing on Local Outreach. We’re chatting on email about who we will support and how as a board: who qualifies for support? It’d be easier if we had some practical, present models to base that off of, but that seems to be lacking: how can we offer to be a resource when none of us seem to know of folks who need a resource?

Situation five: Hearing the praise of the characteristics of our denomination but seeing the lack of outreach/intentional practical application/praise and healing and thanksgiving and the Spirit/contagious spreading of the Word is causing a cynical nature to arise. I don’t know that I fully appreciate what I’ve been blessed with being raised in this denomination: but is that important? Bitterness is rising – not a good thing.

Situation six: I’m reading about praising God for everything. I’m reading about Prayer. I’m teaching about how to study the Bible: why, how, what’s the story (morning glory)? I’m reading about putting your child in time out and cooking seasonally and planning a budget and knitting for babies and American transcendentalism figures and how to balance marriage and parenthood (it’s not one big book, but many).

I feel a tug: a pull: an uneasiness that I place into an anxious inability to be still and know.

I want a vision.

I want to rest, retire, receive, respond.

I need to be present.

This all seems so hodge podge yet prominent in my life: can you sort it out? Do you feel it, too?

One thought on “Conflicted

  1. Dave Woolsey

    Hodge podge? How about six good points. Your post is an example of what we are going to be hearing/seeing more and more as time goes on. IF we are listening. As you know, church systems in America are modern area institutions in a post modern world. All church types need to: 1) Acknowledge the reality of the context we find ourselves in or 2) Study the old World Series story of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Blacksox scandle and the famous line “Say it ain’t so Joe”. Sadly, neither are likely. But, let’s not give up!

    Dave Woolsey

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