Unsure of How I Feel

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A couple Sundays ago, there was a significant announcement that happened at the end of my church’s Chinese service. My English Pastor notified the English congregation at the end of the English Service that Sunday School classes will end early for we all were required to be present for the announcement. What was announced concerned our church’s leadership, which would change at the end of September. It was an announcement that was a long time coming, “about time”, and a necessary change in the opinion of elders, deacons, and many church leaders of past and present — myself included.I have been very quiet about this, and have not discussed this in much detail or depth with anybody. I’ve struggled to be disciplined in holding my tongue back these past week, and purposely refraining from talking to anybody about this. I dare not discuss this much with church friends, for I know our opinions are skewed from being involved in the very matters in question. The evening of the announcement, I talked to a close friend whom I consider to be one of my few spiritual irons and commuicated to her what happened. I spoke slowly, calmly (for the most part) and just let off the concerns off my chest. It was quite a relief to be able to talk to somebody about what burdened my heart, especially someone I trusted. I did little complaining and after all was said, we both realized that I did not know how I feel about this.The feelings are a mixed bag concerning this matter, and bittersweet at best. I still don’t know if it is appropriate to say this here, but to be frank with you my brethren in Christ — my church’s Senior Pastor resigned, and the Elder Board has accepted his resignation. That was the gist of the announcement, and I finally say so in hopes that you would pray for me and my church. We need it… we don’t pray enough, even while all this Spiritual warfare is going on.Over the past few months, I have taken significant steps back away from active involvement in my church, as I am moving away to Louisville for Southern Seminary and will soon be transferring my membership. I don’t lead worship mufch these days, nor play bass as much on worship team, and am no longer teaching Sunday School. However, despite my decreased involvement in service to the church, please do not mistake this for apathy, complacency or lukewarmness. I have been graciously taught by my brothers and sisters at church over the years about the importance of family and church, and I care very much about the well-being and future of Jaffray Alliance.One thing I am sure of: disappointment. There is disappointment up top in my church’s leadership about how effective the leadership at the top has been — this is certain. What is also true, is that I am disappointed at the lack of humility of the leadership, from the lowest of various group leaders to the highest at the top of various ministries. (I generalize this to the majority; there are a rare few who are) It breaks my heart to see and hear nobody asking me what I think, or about how I feel; nobody asking me for my opinions or suggestions / recommendations about anything church and ministry related. Why has not the leadership actively and regularly sought the constructive criticism of its body, especially those in the body who have given their life in service to this church? — those who have been here since the beginning and seen everything that has happened over the years, good and bad? Where is the humility to just ask questions? Does it say too loudly that “We don’t have the answers”?I’ll tell you what — if you ask me, I’ll tell you what I really think. I’ll be honest, I’ll be blunt, albeit a bit conservative and baptist in my understanding of ecclesiology (how church should be run). But I’ll always be genuine with you, and I will never sugar it up to the point of it being a half-truth or a lie. However, please note that I do not have all the answers to all the problems — I don’t think I have an answer to any of the problems. But I do read and have experienced a lot of church over the years, directly and indirectly, and if anything, I know that if we are to be a healthy church, we must be deliberate in being transformed. That means the 4 P’s is all I know and all I will ever attempt in ministry: Preach expositionally, Pray continually, Personal discipleship, and be Patient.I am unsure of the future of my church. I honestly cannot be certain where the Spirit’s wind will blow tomorrow, or the next day, or the next week, or month or year. But I pray that we will always be in awe and wonder of the person and work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, who suffered and died in our place for us who are sinners, He who knew no sin but bore our sins upon Himself and took the wrath that we deserved. With the Gospel as the front and center of our church, through these 4 P’s, and by the work of God’s Spirit of grace through faith, we shall indeed work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

13 Come now, you who say, ???Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit?????? 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, ???If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.??? 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.–James 4:13-17

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