Today’s post is very personal and will possibly not make much sense to anyone outside of my local church family, but this is the best avenue for me to share some thoughts with them. If your church has ever been through hard times and conflict, perhaps this will help you also.
The comments that follow are my observations and my opinion and not those of anyone else.
Dear Church Family,
As a result of a number of resignations from our church staff in the last few weeks, our elders held an open meeting this past Sunday afternoon.
After the two hour meeting, I felt so encouraged by the spirit our elders expressed. They shared their hearts in a way I have not seen by elders at Madison. The results of this storm of fire has pulled them together and tempered a resolve to bring unity to our church family. These five men have prayed and cried over the recent changes, but I felt a real bond of unity between them. No one man served as a spokesman, but each spoke and responded to questions relating to their specific assignments.
Our elders basically made a stand that our body will continue to have a traditional and a contemporary service each Sunday. They pledged to remain steadfast in supporting a united body that will be salt and light in our community. The present conflict centers around the style of worship – not uncommon today in churches throughout our country.
This church family went through a painful time 12 years or so ago. There was much anger and distrust among the family at that time. One of the main issues then was also about worship.
At Sunday’s meeting, one of the elders pointed out that the New Testament has less to say about how to worship and more about loving one another and not judging each other.
As to questions on where we go from here, Marty Rothschild said, “Let’s take a breath.” In my estimation, they are reeling at the suddenness of these events and are trying to find solid ground.
Several of us thanked the elders for sharing their hearts, and I encouraged them to have a Sunday service of prayer and petition asking for God’s guidance for our future. Before we left we all gathered around them in prayer for our future and God’s guidance.
Our family is clearly facing a time of transition, but I am encouraged by a leadership that took responsibility for their own mistakes and welcome people who will step up and to fill in the gaps.
Bless us as we invite You to stretch us and root us during these days.
Ground us in faith and give us courage to press on despite changes and sadness and loss.
Show us the sweet found in the bitter.
Give our elders and members courage to step out in boldness and
humility to bridge the gaps left by those who have left.
We praise You for every blessing in our lives. Thank You Father for Your goodness and mercy.
“. . . but to a hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet. “Proverbs 27:7