Friday, September 9, 2011

Can You Break Up If You're Still Family?

Earlier this week, I guest posted on Tracy Chiara’s site, Abundant Living. The gang at Kingdom Bloggers bombarded her site to speak about when we heard God. I described my first real experience with hearing God’s voice specifically intended for me. It was when I was looking for a new church; I specifically heard God tell me when I walked in, This is where you will serve.

It’s been 8 years; over the years I’ve seen many changes at the church and with each season many friends left and I wondered if it was my turn to leave. The Lord always said, No - until recently. I served in a variety of different ways: leading women, organizing outreach, teaching and most recently mentoring children. I enjoyed it all and I served the Lord and the church faithfully. Throughout my service, I developed leadership skills in diplomacy and I matured spiritually, and I prayed for the church to grow and mature in Christ, through the Holy Spirit as well.

About 5 weeks ago, the church asked the lead pastor to resign. (You can read about it here.) I had already decided to leave, under the direction of the Holy Spirit but when I heard the news, I second-guessed the decision. I’ve been intent on seeing God at work, and when it finally seems to be coming into fruition, I’m not there to enjoy the fruits of the labour. I feel cheated.

I bet Moses felt cheated when he didn’t get to enter the Promised Land. He led the people for 40 years towards the promise but he only got to see it from a distance; he didn’t enjoy the fruit of his labour. It struck me then that the Lord commissioned Moses to lead the people out of Egypt; Moses wasn’t promised his own place in the Promised Land.

I did what I was commissioned to do. I served, and now I am released to serve elsewhere. The Lord also reminded me that the global church functions as a family and you can’t break up with family. It’s hard letting go. I’m leaving, but without bitterness or ill-will towards the church that I attended for 8 years. The number 8 means new beginnings. It’s a new beginning for me, in a new season with the Lord.

The churches in the region I live in are undergoing re-construction. It’s not just the church I’ve been attending for the last 8 years; it’s probably true where you live too. God is re-forming his church. We are one church – no matter where you attend. You can change your address but you can’t break up with family.

Have you gone through church changes? Was it easy or hard to make a switch?

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye -- Goodbye!


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