June 29, 2023
I feel like I need to make an apology with this pastor’s garage.
About a month ago a member of our congregation came into my office with a thought about trying to have a couple outdoor community services this summer. Her desire was to get out of our safe bubble and make ourselves more visible to the community we reside in, The reality is that for many people not immersed or familiar with church culture, walking through those doors might seem pretty intimidating. I agreed and was excited about the idea. After all, the great commission calls us to “go out into the world”, not “wait in a safe comfortable place until they come to you!” As I pondered the idea, I thought it would be good to include the other churches in town and do it truly as a community service. Looking at dates July 2nd seemed like a natural fit as it was the Canada day weekend, there might be people in town for the festivities already, and there was nothing previously planned for the Sunday morning anyway.
My first setback was when I reached out to our ministerial. No other churches were interested in being a part of such a event. I was a bit disappointed but decided to push ahead with just our church doing an outdoor service. It’s not that I thought it would be any kind of magical pill that had all the answers, but we haven’t done anything specifically like this for some time, if ever. I thought what have we got to lose? What if there was even one person that came that wouldn’t otherwise? It was while I was sitting in my office on the Tuesday morning following the camping weekend, and was starting to do some serious thinking what that service would look like, that I started to feel very overwhelmed and all alone. I reached out to several people about their thoughts and opinions, and while there were two who were excited and willing to be a part of such an event, all of the others that I reached out too, were either not excited about doing it or wouldn’t be there. My heart sank, and I just couldn’t bring myself to push ahead, so I pulled the plug. In doing so, I also wounded the two that were excited about doing it, it really felt like a lose, lose situation.
Now you’re going to have to trust me on this, I’m not sharing all of this to lay a guilt trip on those that didn’t just jump up and down at the golden opportunity of joining some half-baked scheme that Mike Zorn cooked up. Shortly after officially starting this role as the interim leader for our church, I felt strongly impressed by the Lord during a ACOP district “grow day” in Saskatoon to find a mentor for this stretch of the road. Yesterday morning I had an opportunity to have a video call with that person and was sharing my heart about this whole situation. While he didn’t say anything that I didn’t already know, he shared some things that I definitely needed to be reminded about. Any time we try and step out and do something for the Lord, we will receive push back. The enemy just isn’t that interested in Jesus being proclaimed or us growing in any way! There will be feelings of discouragement or opportunities for distraction. He encouraged me that I needed to spend more time seeking Gods will in this, rather than looking for human support or affirmation. But then he went on to tell me not to beat myself up on this either. What the world needs more than any event, program, or idea; is those that are in love with Jesus. We need to be in this together, it was never about me anyway. In as much as this event wasn’t likely to be the magical breakthrough, the opposite is also true. All is not lost just because we didn’t do this one thing.
So, I would like to apologize for allowing myself to easily become discouraged, and probably prematurely cancelling such an event. I apologize for spending more time seeking the support and affirmation of man rather than seeking to get to know and love my Heavenly Father more. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we should have done the event anyway, it just means that His wasn’t the voice I was focusing on! Galatians 6:9-10 says “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone-especially to those in the family of faith.”
This Sunday I will be sharing on a verse I read in my devotions a couple days ago that has been haunting me a bit. “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” 1 John 5:21 Please join us for our church service at 10:30 at the church, Rachel Kardash will be leading worship. Please keep Brad and Cryssi Sens in your prayers as they face some dark roads ahead in Brads health journey. Above all else, don’t give up the good fight!