the pieces don’t fit

i continue to wrestle with my anger and frustration with our church .  i wrestle with the still no response from our senior pastor regarding our wedding frustrations.  i hold my tongue when our wedding coordinator from the church asks me for the 10th time what time our rehearsal starts because ‘the church needs to know.’ despite me providing this months and weeks ago- over and over and over again.  i drag myself each week to prayer ministry and hold back every urge to get someones attention for seating assignments and direction for each sunday. i am frustrated with the lack of depth of our churches ministry programs.  i am starving at wildnerness ministry meetings because their isnt enough food and half the leaders are no shows…yet. i’m tired of the chaos and confusion that clouds the ministry programs.  i’m saddended by the lack of fellowship and ability to be vulnerable in small groups. i’m angry that it took 3 months to get a response to get into a small group. i’m even angerier to hear a fellow member still waiting for a response to get a small group assignment- its been 8 months.  i no longer look in adoration at dahlstrom’s calls to action to our congregation to get involved in sponsorship, advocate on behalf of the poor and innocent.  i am way too frustrated that there are not real, tangible ways for our congregation to actually respond.  let’s be honest- 80% of the attendees are college students who are selfish with time and money.  i know a generalization. but most importantly i wrestle with my judgement of the church because of these things and more. 

i don’t know how to respond. my project management skills and ability to identifiy organizational bottle necks and provide recommendations don’t come in handy in situations like this.  and despite of all this frustration, the Lord still works in amazing and confusing ways. 

last night, kyle and i had a rather heated discussion about these very issues. its a bit more difficult since he’s not as involved with the ministry aspect…yet.  so he listened.  my heart and soul was hardened.  i didn’t want to be there.  i didn’t want to serve.  in fact, i wanted a new church.  as sad as that sounds- i had it. at least i wouldnt leave for the color of the carpet or the pew vs chair issue.

and yet the message resounded with my heart of steel. it was convicting, eye opening and transcended more that i could possible anticipate. from james 1: 19-27  dahlstrom shared that jesus is rebuked and refused by a mutlitude of people. we all know this.  the zealots, the jews, the romans, etc.  all refused to acknowledge that he was messiah.  and this refusal was due to jesus’ inability to mold to THEIR particular ‘idea’ of their king. he wouldn’t kill so he wasn’t a zealot.  he served the poor and ‘worked’ on sundays so he wasn’t a jew. the problem, was that he was the messiah!  we disowned him becuase he didn’t fit in our grid….he didn’t fit in our square boxes because he’s round. so we walked away and searched for a new fit.  this analogy alone i feel represents my current place with the church.

i have these ideas of what a church should do. how they should respond. and yet they won’t. they never wil.  they are theologians…philosophers…relational minded people who place the business like mind and responses last and all things before. the complete opposite of me. this circle piece just doesn’t fit with my square grid.  the pieces just doesn’t fit. and yet it does.

pray for me to have my eyes and my heart opened to how in the world the square and the circles fit.  i’m just not getting it right now.

1 Comment

  1. Jackie! Interesting post…mostly because i think i’ve idealized your church b/c i like your pastor’s messages so much!

    But if i may, i think the analogy you made from the James scripture is true to a point, but i feel like the situations you write about don’t really apply. the church exists to serve people, it’s members and it’s non-members. people in roles of ministry, like it or not, have admin duties that they need to perform in order to make their ministry duties function properly. not that i’m a shining example of an administrator…but not responding to people’s requests isn’t a great way to be relational. So i guess i would like to affirm you in your frustrations…and affirm the fact that it’s OK to call the church to be more like the church should and can be. there is no excuse for flakey staff and leaders. they might be busy…but not that busy. clearly the church is made up of imperfect people and we need to allow for that, but still…we’re all capable people here.

    so there’s that. i hope everything works out for you! talk to you later. nick.

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