This morning I have been thinking about our church before and after the affair. I don’t know why I haven’t thought through all of this before, but it’s as if the light bulb just came on, “HEY! Our church has changed!”
BEFORE- we were a bible teaching church with a great bible teaching pastor (the one who fell), dearly loved and gifted. Everyone had their bibles and highlighters ready because he was going to lead us through the word. It was a strong and intentional discipleship church. To be sure we were not perfect. There were a lot of things we needed to fix, but we knew who we were and everyone knew what the growth path was when they joined.
AFTER- all that has changed. On a host of levels this is not the same church it was 10 years ago. I could go into details, but the point is simple, we have changed!
Personally, I grieve over the losses on a multitude of fronts, but I also celebrate some of the changes. We still aren’t perfect, we still have problems and things aren’t as they should be, but we are beginning to grow again….a completely different vision and church than it was a decade ago.
In the long shadows of our pastor’s fall are a host of losses. But, I see God working as well. New people coming to faith, people growing, community happening. It’s not the same, but it never will be. That old church is gone.
Often we don’t have an adequate funeral for the church that was….it will never be that way again, but we also fail to celebrate the church that has come from the ashes.
In all of it I pray that Christ might be glorified in spite of the failings of men. And, it seems he has been here. It sure hasn’t turned out as I imagined, but he is working and for that I praise him!