Monday, May 09, 2005


Did my first "exit" interview tonight with a couple who have decided to return to the parent church. I think its a good decision for them. Sometimes people join church plants for the wrong reasons and I hope this experience will cement their commitment to belonging to the parent church. I pray they will find the community that they need and that this will in turn help them to grow in their relationships with God and people.

Interesting and challenging process for me for a variety of reasons. If I have a weakness (ha! just one!) its that I expect 110% of the people around me. I become sorely disappointed when people give less than that. Sometimes thats because I experience it personally. Thats my problem. Other times its because I don't get how sharing Jesus with others can take a backseat to ANY of our petty concerns. Of course I get it intellectually (mainly because I fail that way as well) but a part of me is repulsed by lifestyles of mediocrity. So I sometimes struggle for compassion when I perceive flakiness around me (as opposed to the genuine debilitation life sometimes brings to people).

My process was good with this one. God got to me first and gave me some of His compassion/insight. I know its not about me. I know its not even about whether the community is a place of genunine Christ-centred expression of the gospel. I know it is. It made it easier knowing this was about them. Helping them transition in a healthy (as possible) way. I think I even surprised them by thanking them for their input (and it was actually significant input in the outcomes it generated).

I guess this will be one of the hardest areas for me going forward as a pastor. I get so fired up about where we are going that it breaks my heart that we would lose anyone along the way. But it happens. And I need my heart to be God's heart when it does. I've resolved to communicate really positively about this, rather than cynically.

Anyways, just one more step of growth for this pastor.


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