Saturday, 10 April 2010

practical / spiritual fellowship ... and balance ... and "how we do things" ....

April 6, 2010

I am struggling with “church” again… or should I say, still…

M phoned me today to say how awesome it was to have me at church-in-the-park on Sunday, how it “took the edge off” to have a woman at a gathering that is often mostly men. And that was encouraging for me, and I do love going…

BUT … oh Lord … much as I enjoy baking and serving and visiting, and even hair-cutting sometimes, not to mention the many friends/family I’ve grown to know and care for and all –

Still, I feel left out when it comes to “spiritual” things. Like Pastor P seems to feel that the “spiritual” end is his thing. And that this is his ministry and maybe he feels that we are trying to take over or change things (he has said it is hard for him sometimes; he was doing this alone for 4 or 5 years, and now he suddenly has people coming alongside, and things are changing. Yes, I can see how that would be hard to adjust to. Maybe other people’s ways of witnessing and sharing don’t seem to fit, or seem to be in competition.)

Father, I long to share, teach, disciple. I want to sit down and chat with people out on the street, not just, well… serve food, you know.

Father, R and M are praying for a wonderful, big building, to get a “real mission” going. But Papa, I am still scared of how easily that sort of things leads to “structure.” And I don’t see why we can’t meet outdoors when the weather is okay. And why we can’t meet in people’s houses, maybe (but it seems like there is this thing about a person’s home being their private spot for their family … and a fear of what people might bring in … or take away when they leave … etc). Or maybe someone might have an empty storefront or office space (there are a lot of those these days) we could just borrow when the weather is nasty, if we promised to keep it clean. Or something. You managed those ways. So did the early church. So does the church in many parts of the world today. But apparently not here. Apparently not in “our culture.”

Maybe I should just try to find a “simple church” that would accept us … or start one? How simple is a simple church? Where is the line drawn between simple church gatherings and structured “churches”?

Papa??? (I feel kind of sick. Tummy pains again. This is not right. Help me to trust You completely, please. To rest in You.)

Father, I really crave fellowship. Is it possible that “practical fellowship” can become too extreme, just as “spiritual fellowship” can become so? Can you help us live the balance You desire for us? Please?

(And please help me not to be critical).

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