Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Full Court Press

In my last entry I related that I was having a hard time dealing with repeatedly bouncing between good and bad news about Faith; struggling with the realities of power and money in the church; and discerning if I’m called to be an Elder. I even found myself searching for other churches. Well God was doing a full court press on me last Saturday and Sunday. Three things came together that have started to put things in perspective.

First on Saturday, I started reading the Book of Order. Over and over again, it stressed the sovereignty of God, and the call to unity as a church in mission, worship, and fellowship; all the while stressing diversity and openness to the continual reformation of a church and its people.

Secondly on Sunday I felt a strong pull to attend the contemporary service at Big Cove. Not necessarily seeking a new church but just to see what was there. Well it was apparent I was meant to hear their message that day! They had just started a series on Acts and happened to be covering Chapter 2 about Pentecost and the Holy Spirit. They talked about the transformative power of the Spirit to change people in ways they could never hope to change themselves. They talked about the need to expect and look for this power to change the circumstances of any problem.

Thirdly I went on to attend Faith’s Sunday service. It was a wonderful service! Being Disability Sunday, the focus of the worship was on the abilities and disabilities we all have. The sermon text, John 4:5-27, was about the Samaritan woman at the well. Despite the woman’s many “disabilities” of sin, infidelity, prejudice, and ignorance, Jesus patiently ministered to her. He ministered to the tiny point of faith she carried, "I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." (John 4:25)

It was at that point I couldn’t help but realize the disabilities we at Faith are experiencing right now! The disability we all have of wanting “our” service, “our” church, back rather than seeking the presence of the Holy Spirit in God’s worship and church. The disability of disharmony and disunity we are all experiencing as we seek what we want rather than what God wants for us. The disability those of us that “see clearly” have when we are fed up with those that “don’t see” and we all discount the power of the Spirit to transform all our visions and actions into His plan. Disabilities just like any others that need to be met with love, making way for the transformative power of the Spirit.

These three have come together in my mind as a sort of Trinity. The Book of Order, particularly Chapter 3, informs us about God’s plan for the Church. The Disability Sunday worship demonstrates our brokenness and Jesus’ unfaltering love for us that we are supposed to imitate. The Pentecost message tells us where the power comes from that will transform us into the church God wants us to be.

Pretty amazing to experience all that in one weekend!

What is your tiny point of faith?


Houston Hodges said...

Wow! What a process you're "growing through." I'm so pleased to have been a little part of that journey. Keep seeking!

Your sister in Christ said...

Oh Yeah! Now that is what I am talking about! You referenced the “Father”, the “Son” and the “Holy Spirit” all throughout your blog. You received the Holy Spirit in your soul and your mind in this process and you can clearly see the difference. God can transform all of us; we have to be receptive to Him. He is waiting patiently for all of us.

In the beginning of Faith Presbyterian Church I was but a small child. I witnessed many adults come together not because we had many ministries; not because we had a big church with many programs; not because we had a large congregation; not because we had something for each person, but because God called those people to “come” and do the Lord’s work. Whatever that was! Are we ready for that or do we have “conditions’ and “terms” to be negotiated? Do we hear Him calling now? I believe I do. I promise to continue to “listen” for His direction.

In the Relational Covenant that the Session (leadership) at Faith Presbyterian Church approved for “healing” during 2009, it covers the areas we need to be praying about when we are seeking to be the “vibrant” Body of Christ. (This can be found on the FPC website under “publications” – Rel Covenant.) It is a process; this will take time and your point that Christ was patient is so important for all of us to realize right now. It is for Him and Him alone that we put down our differences and come together and as a church family we put aside our wants and desires that “we think” is what we need. It is time “we trust” in the Lord to provide what we need.

I am so happy that you read through some of the Book of Order. It does help to understand how the Presbyterian Church works; doesn’t it? We have a “system”; I don’t believe we have been using it effectively. It could be that some of us have not studied this. As a member, I did not. I am glad that circumstances have allowed me to do so and I encourage anyone reading this blog response to do the same. The Book of Order can be found online.

And speaking of systems, in our church the “leadership” is the Session of Faith Presbyterian Church. These people consist of the ordained Ministers of Faith Presbyterian Church and the current ordained Elders elected to serve on the Session by our congregation. I encourage you and anyone reading this blog to seek these people out and pray with them and converse with them as they try so diligently to discern the will of God to make good decisions for the way God wants us to go.

It is good that we use whatever reference or resource we need to use to come to glorify the Lord! Above all, love needs to be present in every thought and conversation we have. I believe this is the time to come and humble ourselves before the Lord and asked for His guidance in all we do. Perhaps it is coming close to a time for a “healing” service at Faith?

This is the tiny “bit” of faith I received from God through Faith Presbyterian Church.
You, the Session (leadership of the church), staff and all the other members of the congregation of Faith Presbyterian Church are in my prayers. Praise be to God!

DSM35803 said...

Replies from several friends:

So glad to read this Dave!!!!


Thanks be that by grace you have "ears to hear and eyes to see" and thanks that by your faithfulness, you are able to receive, Dave.

And I am pondering that I have only a tiny bit of faith that Faith will be restored to His kingdom; thanks for confronting me, Dave.


I do believe you have been called to be an Elder!!! You are so far ahead of where I'm at on this journey. I keep questioning myself - am I trying to tell God what I'm going to do or is He trying to tell me what he wants and I'm not listening? I've already realized that I won't find the type of service I want elsewhere because no one will do it the way we did at our early service. It has gone through some transformations over the years as well and is not the same service as when it all began. I think that's why I'm having so much trouble with this whole situation.

I encourage you to pursue the position of Elder because I think you would be there for the right reasons and becauase you want to do what's best for the whole body of the church.

Thank you for sharing your blog with me.