Sorry for my absence, I've spent the weekend building my website. I think, I actually have a website. Thank you all for your comments! I think that I have spent over 25 hours on it this weekend! I do know why people get paid $$$ for building websites! I do NOT recommend building websites when the only chair you have, is a folding chair! JEEPERS CREEPERS!!! My back is killing me!
Last night, I got talked into, by my sons, going to the youth group Christmas party. Because of that, I now have a much more comfortable chair. The host family, had been meaning to offer us a chair they loved, but no longer fit their decor. It's perfect! At least, until we can get a computer chair.
The Christmas party was fun. Lots of teenagers running around acting goofy. A few adults, that I love, and don't get to really TALK to very often.
They had a couple of games ...one was a huge 4' stocking stuffed with 'stuff' and you had to guess what was inside the stocking. The person who guessed the most stuff won. Samuel was determined. Samuel, won. Some strange stuff in the stocking, like ONE worn out slipper (exactly in Samuel's size *grin*); a DVD of an old movie he'd been wanting to see, a coffee mug, some tape, a scratched CD, a frisbee (with Whinnie the Pooh and Tigger on it, perfect gift for his 5 year old cousin!); a 25 pc Clifford puzzle (guess who?) and a few other odd things. The thing he was most excited about ...the stocking. :D
We then rode on a trolley to a neighborhood where most of the houses decorate (professionally) for Christmas. It was quite beautiful. The trolley ride was really fun. Teenagers singing Christmas carols, laughing, enjoying each other's company and just being happy!
It was a really good party.
The day had started out stressful enough. I told you a few weeks ago that our Senior Pastor had resigned, well, yesterday, our associate pator handed in her resignation. Change, begets change. So, now our 250 member church now has no Pastor, no associate pastor, no worship pastor and no youth pastor. Leaving us with a children's pastor and a secretary. Could, get very interesting. Very interesting indeed.
Unfortuneately, the rumors are flying wild. That she was fired on Saturday ...not true, she called me Wednesday and told me that she handed in her resignation on Monday. That this was unexpected and unplaned ...not exactly true ..while, a week ago on Sunday she didn't really know she was going to do it ... she'd been talking about it for well over a year. WELL OVER A YEAR. When she met with the board of trustee's, she decided that the direction that they were going was different than she wanted to go, and that she would hinder the process, not help the process and they would hold her back spiritually. It was not a contentious move. It was an emotional move, because, as she put it, she is a girl and she loves this church. It was, a move that was, to help the church move forward, not keep anyone back.
As crazy as it sounds ... I think she's right. I think our pastor is right. I think ...when our pastor resigned saying that sometimes things need to be torn down and rebuilt ... that is where our church is. And maybe, just maybe our church needs to do just that very thing.
I am exicted when I think of the ministry opportunities that await my pastor and his wife in non professional ministry life! I can't wait to see how they are progressing in their personal life. Randy would do things, because he has a heart of gold to help one person ...and 200 people would get upset. Only 50 people would understand why he did what he did. He is a pastor to the individual, which is what made him such great pastor. But to be able to do those things without having to answer back to 250 people? It really, is a good thing.
As far as our associate pastor ... I think she learned a tremendous amount that she needed to learn, administrative, computer, etc. I, really believe, she has a women's ministry in her future. Something far bigger than the administrative support stuff she's been doing. She's been boxed in long enough. She's this georgeous passionate wild bird who's singing at the top of her lungs ...and it's time to let the caged bird fly!
As far as our church ... when I got to Southpark... church statistics for the nation were that 20% of the people did 80% of the work. But, it wasn't true for Southpark. Most people enthusiastically participated. Our leaderships love and passion for God was contagious and people got behind them.
Then life got in the way ... and those who were hard workers moved away ..got promoted in their jobs ... lost spouses, aged ... whatever ... life changed ... and over the last 10 years ... apathy has set in and a good less than 20% does 90% of the work. It all got shoved off onto ...that's the pastor's job. That's why we have a support pastor. That's the children's minister's job. That's the worship pastor's job. Isn't that why we pay a youth pastor?
So, without a pastoral staff, save one, who pastor's the children, who really, have no say in who does what ... we are going to be forced to run our church. To behave as servants of God. Not the served. And, we're going to have to work together. It will have to be about each other, not about me.
I think, this is, going to be a very very good thing. Scary ...absolutely. We have to A) trust God not ourselves and B) trust each other to step up, not ourselves or someone we've paid.
I do think, this will be very good. Then a new pastor can come in, and we will be ready to function as a church again.