Monday, 10 March 2014

So how would you like to lose all your energy and enthusiasm today?

I've just read the following line on Backyard Believer:

"It also gives me some sense of focus when it comes to who I seek to work with. I don’t think time spent with the resistant and difficult is ever time well invested."

 You should probably read the rest of the article that it came from too.

I keep asking myself "how should we be doing church together in a way that is meaningful, builds people up, helps them draw near to God, helps them want to submit their lives to Jesus?". My frustration partly comes from being a charismatic in an un-charismatic church, not that I'm desperately wanting people to be singing in tongues all the time, but that I want to see the power of God at work overtly and indisputably in the church, and instead it's always just the 'small' things, almost tucked out of sight.

Where is God at work among us? Good, and complex, question.


  1. Seem to me that if your a church leader, then most seem to go along this thought. And if your someone who leaves a church it is normally for one of the reasons in this blog

    Maybe you need to see and actually feel both sides of it.
    As the people and especially leaders can have a huge impact on people walking away from a church, and even more critically their faith in some cases.
    But hey your last two blogs have answered this.......not your fault, therefore not your problem sums it up.
    This comment is as much aimed at the articles you've posted as to yours.
    But think actually there is a level of responsibility to all who are leaders of a church.

  2. Hi Matt, thanks for your comments and thoughts. No, I really mean that.

    Hardly a week goes by when I haven't, at some point, felt very much like walking away and making it 'somebody else's problem', so I very much feel both sides of it. The post you linked to is interesting, and I probably felt or struggled with every one of those things in the first few years we were part of this church - maybe I could even add a few to the list. It was one of the darkest, most difficult times of my adult Christian life, and if you're the Matt I think you are then you'll know I've been through some difficult things.

    You do bring up an interesting point though: "not your fault, therefore not your problem sums it up."

    A lot of stuff happens that I cannot fix or control, but still remains my problem. If I could reach into people's lives, into their minds, make adjustments so they want to live well, go on with God, build others up in community... well, I'd be more controlling than God. But I can't, and they each have free will to do what ever they feel like. One can try to maintain things that people once liked, but they'll just walk away anyway, and if you try to do things which are more able to build people together then they'll get upset because you changed what they were used to. One of the 'problems' described to us by the original church leaders was that although the front door was open and people would walk in, many of them would walk out of the back door too.

    I guess for me, we can either all decide that we're going to intentionally walk with God and try and build the church we're called to be part of, even if there's a cost attached, or we can walk away. And if people want to walk away then no amount of encouragement, persuasion or confrontation will make any difference.

    But yes, I care, and I carry responsibility for trying to do all I can to the best of my ability. But if people don't like that, for any number of reasons, right or wrong, well, all I'm left with is feeling like I failed again and that someone else has decided to do their own thing.

    And if you're not the Matt I used to know then sorry for wittering on.

  3. Toni I know you've been through a bad time, and won't pretend to know what it's like. And wouldn't wish it on anybody.
    But on the question of people walking away, I fully believe that people need to see Jesus I'm the people at church. And when it's not there and people are left feeling unloved then they will look to walk away - which people did and actually all some of them really wanted was someone to follow them and show them love. I have to see it with some of the kids up here too, who no longer attend the various groups. Yet these are the people who need it most - not the ones sat in church.
    This isn't just you, as it was a general feeling that came from the chapel, and still doesn't seem to be at the heart of the community today.
    But I do believe that if you don't voice your problems or differences then people may not know they've hurt anyone (for want of a better phrase)
    And you can still think that this may be me, but I have seen a number of people loose faith, and it certainly rocked mine as someone who was a relatively new Christian. (has taken until recently to fully feel that I'm back there. Up to now I have been one of those bums on seats, just filling the spaces)
    I'm certainly not looking to argue, but like I say think it's best to say things when they come to you rather than stew on them.

  4. Thanks Matt, I'm happy for you to comment here.

    1. By the way, REALLY happy to hear you're not just a bum on a seat. ;-)

  5. AC - I have deleted your comment in the hope that one day reconciliation might take place: it would not be a helpful reminder of things in the past


Play nice - I will delete anything I don't want associated with this blog and I will delete anonymous comments.