Okay, I took a little flack for shooting off my mouth (uh…fingers?) in my previous post. Not much, but the gist of it was this: “It’s not right for you – with you and your husband both in leadership positions – to be so critical of the church without first discussing it privately with the pastor.” I agree with that, but I think it’s missing the point of what I was trying to say. I am critical of the general church culture that seems to permeate most of North America; I wasn’t trying to specifically point an accusing finger at our church.
Sure, there are some things that I don’t necessarily agree with, but my opinion on what should be done or how things should be done is way, way down the priority list when it comes to functioning as a body. Way, way up on the priority list is the fact that I love our pastors and elders, I respect their leadership, and I choose to honour their authority over me even if I sometimes have different preferences about stuff. If I do get to a point where something gets so out of whack that I absolutely have to say something, please rest assured that I will do it privately.
I am not here to be a critic or to stir up dissent. My heart is to be a cheerleader for the steps that we’re taking towards deeper community involvement. In fact, I already have a cheer: GO-YA! It happens to stand for “Get Off Your (begging your pardon) Ackside!” Okay, okay, I’m not going to actually cheer that at someone else. I use it on myself. For other people, I’ll probably stick with something a little nicer, like, “Let’s go! We can do it!”
We’re involved in a new church plant and it’s been exciting to meet with community services people to see what the needs are and to begin strategizing towards helping to meet some of those needs. The impulsive part of me is frustrated that we can’t just hit the ground running, but I do recognize the wisdom in surveying the area and building intentional partnerships with organizations that are already in the community. I’m excited to see how those relationships unfold and what we as a family and we as a church body will be doing a few months from now and a few years from now.
In the meantime, it’s time to put my money where my pie-hole is. If I want to cheer others on towards making a difference in their neighbourhood and building relationships with the people around them, I need to stop making excuses for not knowing my neighbours. Hey, we live in the country, so it’s not like we can just chat over the fence or strike up a conversation when we pass on the sidewalk. Wait – enough excuses!
I know that our closest neighbour took over the farm when his mom passed away, but that’s all I know about him. So today I made him a strawberry pie. Pat and Levi took it over to him. He also has chickens, so that was an easy conversational start. This is the beginning. We’re planning to host a ‘neighbourhood’ barbecue later in the summer. GO-YA!