Our church is familiar with being a safe environment for folks to wrestle with belief and faith, a community where doubts and questions are always welcomed and even encouraged. We’re comfortable with that. But what about when the questions and doubts are aimed at our church, or at each other? Given the challenges and changes our congregation is facing, it’s not surprising that some folks are a bit skeptical of what’s going on. Here’s my response:
The last six months in the life of our congregation have been filled with finding a way to accomplish our goal to relieve ourselves of the burden of our building in 2014. Three days ago, we reached that goal by finalizing of the sale of our building to Restoration Church. With so much energy and activity surrounding selling our building and moving to our new location in the First Friends Meetinghouse, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that selling our building was just one step in part of a larger journey.
As I write this I’m surrounded by boxes. Moving boxes, filled with books. I’m in the middle of packing up my office as we prepare to vacate our old church building at 1 SW 17th St.
I must confess to feeling quite conflicted. My journey with Jesus calls me to a posture of rootedness and deep connection. There’s an ancient saying from the desert monastics that has formed me greatly: “In whatever place you live, do not easily leave it.”
In order for a nuclear reaction to be self-sustaining there must be a critical mass of reactive material to keep the reaction going. In order for a particular business model to be viable there must be a critical mass of shoppers interested in buying what you’re selling. For a cities to take bikes as transportation seriously there must be a critical mass of bicyclists already on the streets. And for certain models of church we must have a critical mass of engaged, committed individuals and families supporting our shared ministry.