I always seem to procrastinate with the posting. I doddle around on Facebook and then check my email, check my messages, hoping to get caught up in something else.
For the most part, I loved my church growing up. I loved the music especially. :) Around about 7th grade our old worship pastor moved on to another job. He was the traditional hymns and piano kind of guy. I learned many of the hymns I know today from his time. The old people loved him too:) So when we got a new guy who had just come off the mission field from England and the Czech Republic who had a guitar and kid who played the djembe there was a bit of an exodus. He mentioned once to me and a few others that he would get angry letters in the offering tray about it. I imagine that would be a difficult thing. It's interesting how an offering plate can be passed around and the offering from the body are notes of... well, not encouragement.
I loved this new worship leader. He and his family were so full of life and fun. His wife played piano and they had such a heart for international missions. It was as though we had a worship pastor and missions pastor all in one. At the time our youth pastor was encouraging us to be a part of the church, serve in adult ministries, not just to be the future church but to BE the church. As a home schooler this didn't seem too bad to me. I was comfortable with adults and went to some of our Equipping Classes. I think these days they would be called Small Groups. I also got to sing on the worship team. I remember someone asking me what year I was in college and I told them I was in seventh grade. I was tall for my age, but still... really? Whatever. Seriously though, I don't think I've grown an inch since then. :)
Anyways, so after our new worship leader came our youth pastor was called to leave maybe a year later. He gave us four months to find a new youth pastor.
We went nine months without a youth pastor. The parents tried to do their best to step in, but we had been probably too enamored with our first youth pastor, plus, they were our PARENTS... :) really? Who wants them? I started a youth worship team and we were TERRIBLE. I played the piano and this other guy played electric guitar, we tried to incorporate a trumpet, it was terrible.
We got a new youth pastor the middle of my ninth grade year. I wasn't sure about him, he seemed too happy or goofy or something. Now as I look back I see that he had a genuine heart and a desire to be led by the Spirit. He helped me to break outside of my perfect shell. One weekend on a retreat he had an open time of sharing. I knew I needed to tell the truth about my struggle with an eating disorder, my lonliness, my struggles with sexual fantasies... I didn't want to. For some reason I got up there anyways and shared through tears in front of my youth group of about fifty or sixty kids. As a result I had three girls come up to me that night and tell me they were struggling with some of the same things. Since that night I have made a pledge with the Lord that I would be honest at all costs. I knew He would be faithful to bring others into my life I could share with and it didn't matter who knew.
Lord, what do You want me to share? What kind of details? I don't want to slander anyone, but I want to be holy in the way I say stuff... I want to be honest.
Okay, let's just count here. I've seen three youth pastors leave our little church, three worship pastors, four teaching pastors... there was a pastor "disagreement" that was never truly resolved I felt. I think that was the biggest blow. The pastor who left was gracious and moved to another state to continue pastoring, but still about half the church left. It was hard to watch people leave. Easier to see them go on good terms than bad ones. I had one youth pastor take four months to leave, another one left in two weeks. One worship pastor left to go work as a chef, another left to do full time missions around the world, another one left to make a more "seeker friendly" church... I think... I can think of two friends specifically who were hurt by one pastor's ministry and him confronting them on wrong grounds, I guess it was just messy and people lying and stuff like that. ...
Okay, all of that junk to say, the church is led by broken people. So many times I have asked God why? Why did you allow this? These people are wrong! But God quietly responds that He put men in charge who are broken. The more they realize that and live in a dependence on Him, the better. They will be held to a higher standard and God is a just God. Jesus was the hardest on the teachers of the law, I wonder if that's because there was a carnage of people in their path.
We are to submit ourselves to the authority God has placed in our lives. We are to live faithfully to where He has called us to be. We are to do all things without grumbling or complaining. We are to search the scriptures for ourselves and make sure that no one is committing heresy. We are to grow where we are planted and do what He has called us to do.