Pastor, I Feel Displaced, Replaced & Misplaced
Dear Church Family,
I wanted to take a few seconds and say thank you. Thank you for your patience during this process. The endless stream of texts, emails, phone calls and Facebook messages have been so encouraging during this season. For many of you who could have responded to this transition poorly, but have chosen to stand with us, thank you.
What we are going through is historic. This relationship will serve as a model for many other organizations, for many years to come. The miracle that is in the making is quite remarkable and years from now we will look back and see all that God had planned from the beginning of time. Even with a several major wins under our belt already, there are specifics & logistics yet to be ironed out. We are hosting Feedback Forums this weekend for people to hear the story, and ask any questions they might have for the leadership in regards to our future together. I would love to have you RSVP so we can prepare accordingly.
As you can imagine, there was not a class at Southeastern University or at The National Institute of Christian Leadership on church marriages, so it is very uncharted territory. I am currently reading THIS BOOK to help me understand this process better. I wish I would have read it years in advance. That being said, I am going to try and cover as much ground as I can while this is all still in process.
Going back and trying to rewind time to revisit small mistakes that made the biggest impact during this process is not only impossible, it’s unhealthy. The timeline of this transition was such that both congregations, their leaders, and all those watching on Facebook from a distance, were all taken by surprise. Ashton & I sat in a booth at Applebees just 2 weeks ago thinking to ourselves, “What just happened?”
You might still be having an Applebees moment yourself. You might still be asking, “What just happened?” That is totally understandable.
You feel displaced. That is totally understandable.
You feel replaced. That is totally understandable.
You feel misplaced. That is totally understandable.
Look At The Promise
We have to know that the enemy does not want this to happen. A story of this magnitude would be a testimony for decades to come. Anything that the enemy does not want to happen will start to be divided by seeds in the minds of individuals. Those individual seeds will be fertilized by other seeds from other individuals. Satan loves your skepticism. He thrives on the fact that he can take a unified body and break it down into separate camps.
But God’s word clearly says that He will build His church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. That means, no matter what seed that he has tried to sow into your head, God will still be the head of His church.
If He promised to build it, then He will not just call us to maintain it.
Look At The Process
When Ashton & I got married almost 11 years ago, it was a process. Our bank accounts had yet to be joined. Our cell phone plan was not joined. There was even a season where her license still had her maiden name on it. After 11 years, I look back at the process and have no bad feelings about that season. I am in no way mad at her for not changing her last name legally on her license the first day of our honeymoon. It was a process. Those times don’t even come to my mind now. The memories I have of our marriage during those seasons have very little to do with the fact that our cell phone plan was not a family plan. 11 years later, I am more in love with her, and everything in our life is now completely shared. There is no more distinction. There will come a day where there is no distinction.
Look At The Potential
On Sunday the attendance was the single highest non-holiday weekend in 17 years!! This is just the beginning. The potential of this movement is way beyond either one church could have ever imagined. When we step back and look at the potential of what is taking place, we will see that more can be accomplished together than apart. More than the potential of the property, I am motivated by the potential of the people. We are positioning ourselves as a powerhouse for the gospel for many years to come.
Two practical steps you can take during this season:
Equip your spirit…
Do not neglect prayer, reading and fasting during this season. It is during the times of transition and uncertainty that God tends to speak the most clearly. If you have put off praying in the spirit, personal bible reading and hearing from the Lord, I want to encourage you to get back into it. There is pre-service prayer every Sunday at 9:30am in the Life Center of the Raleigh Campus if you are hungry to join together with other believers.
Engage in serving…
By continuing to serve in the area of ministry you have previously served in, it will keep you connected and engaged in the ministry that God has called you to. This marriage is not a time to take a step back, it is a time to lean in even more. By getting your hands dirty, you allow your heart to remain connected. Contrary to popular belief, the work load of not having a building and the work load of having a building is exactly the same. How so? Because we have never been in the building business, we have always been in the people business. This means, that the people that God has called us to still exist, and our emphasis on creating a portable church environment can now be better directed to the ministry we provide for the people.
I love you.