Thursday, September 23, 2004

longing to be stoic, yet so damn emotive

i have no desire to be tossed this way and that by every wave of emotion. but, in all honesty, i usually am. while this realization is nothing new, it is usually something i am able to suppress. but not today.

earlier this week, the only other home church in our network decided to officially disband. our personal relationship with the remarkable families and individuals in this church will continue, but their church will cease to exist.

thus, the network formerly known as 'city on a hill' will cease to exist. sinners and saints is on its own and it feels like we're performing on a trapeze and preparing to fly without a net. henri, at this point i would love to say that i am fully trusting the catcher, but it is far more accurate to say that i am filled with fear.

i am afraid that i am unable to lead a home church, much less create a new network.

i feel like at some point i stopped walking with you and started to work for you. hence, i hardly have the character that befits an elder.

i realize that you can, but fail to believe that you will, transform the dying seed that was 'city on a hill' into an organism that is glossy with new life.

yet, with trembling hands i receive the new task you have set before me. fill me with your Spirit, so that i might participate in, and help guide, a community that is engaged in your mission. once again, i ask you to bring life out of death and to call something that is not as though it were. Lord, i really don't want to fuck this up. help me, help me, help me.

13 comments:

james said...

None of us have the character that befits elders. Just know that Allison is correct when she said the seeds of failure were sown into the plantation of 'City on a Hill'. There was no way in hell we could have expected to cultivate the triplet house churches we birthed, when the average distance among us was 25 miles or so. Thanks for your honesty. We probably will fuck it up at some point or another. The good of this then, is that it forces us to draw upon His good graces, and to set us upright once again. With you in the journey friend...

AlexPope said...

Dude, you're so fucking money and you don't even know it! In all seriousness though, the road to success is paved with failure, and you're not traveling alone.

jamie said...

I don't even know AlexPope, but I'd like to commend him on his usage of one of the best lines from Swingers. Good form.

Moving on, Jeff, I feel led to offer encouragement whether you were looking for it or not. While reading your words I felt a pull to tell you that I had a sense of "Yes." Yes, as in: that's right. Yes, as in: as it should be. Nevertheless, I understand your trepidation...your reservations...your fear - and I will be praying for you.

AlexPope said...

thanks jamie, that movie is a classic.

Anonymous said...

Wish I had not read this one.

Ouch.

Thanks Allison.

Sorry I sucked.

Anonymous said...

that was me. I pushed the wrong button so don't berate me.

Rick said...

pushed the wrong button again.

g13 said...

pastor rick,

no offense or pain intended (or, i thought, implied). i was just trying to work through the shock of drayton closing shop.

Rick said...

None actually taken.

The salt does sting though.

Actually, contrary to Allison I think it could have worked. Many networks work across longer miles.

I think the calling was different and the relationship dynamics were not something that could help it work out.

Rick said...

actually that last comment was for James as well. I love to disagree with him, since it happens so seldom.

Rick said...

do remember that without City on a Hill Drayton, Quincy Street Church, the missionary housing at Drayton, and many other things could not have happened.

g13 said...

not to mention the many relational blessings as well. i can't imagine life without you and your family, bonnie and craig, the corcoran's, ben, don and israel, etc, etc, etc.

don't think for a moment that i do not appreciate and thank God for city on a hill. this has been, and continues to be, the most fruitful period of my life. i think that's why accepting change has been difficult.

james said...

"I think the calling was different and the relationship dynamics were not something that could help it work out."

Yes Rick I understand and do agree with this relational aspect. The way it was set up did require a strong relational commitment. And unfortunately many of us (myself included) we're not prepared to commit to the time investment it would have taken to push COAH forward. I really didn't mean anything ill at the statement. I too am thankful.