Monday, November 08, 2004

Now What?

The idea of planting a church has faded on and off my radar. It's on again. I get so full of anxiety just thinking about it, yet at the same time, there are forces in my life that come from various directions at unpredictable times that will not allow me to forget the idea.

I have this aversion to fear, you see, and I find church planting a fearful thing. What I want is comfort, security, safety, predictability, control and all the things that I believe (falsely) make life...life. The idea of church planting allows me none of these things. So, I avoid church planting. However, I cannot avoid internal crisis as easily as I avoid external crisis.

I am a therapist, not a pastor. How could I plant a church? I am introverted and have a hard time initiating conversation. I can respond to conversation very well. I just can't bring it up. If no one ever talked talked to me, I might never talk again. Also, I am poisoned by the experience of really lousy church plant experiences as a child. I have never witnessed a (what I would call) successful church plant. I've seen some pretty lousy and sectarian church plants that were about as seeker hostile as you can get. Their impotence in their communities...their rotten fruit is their testimony. The last thing I want to do is a crappy church plant.

Anyway, here I sit looking over the edge again, wondering what it would be like to jump.

Now what?


2 comments:

Greg Taylor said...

It may surprise us that a typical Restorationist response even many decades ago to a person who moves into a place where few or no "churches of Christ" exist, was to tell them, "Start one." Bold and naive at the same time. I like the idea but unfortunately many Southern cultural CofCs were started in the North and California.

I like that you are wrestling with it, that you are not so cock sure that you can go out and conquer (you were, in fact, a conqueror, were you not? at one time?). Keep wrestling and let's keep talking, because I've had a few experiences that might help, yet I still want to do this in the states, too. So lets drum the drum and see who comes to the meeting (well, I guess I used that metaphor b/c you might remember that about a meeting of villagers in High Places).

Fajita said...

Dum dahdah dum dahdah dum dahdah
The drumbeat continues. I was on a church plant team back in 1997, when I was doing graduate work at ACU. It disbanded as a result of a confluence of problems. I'm glad it didn't happen, but not because church planting is the wrong path. No, it could be the right path. It was for sure the wrong time.

I think what I need is a leader. I support better than I lead. Maybe I'm just waiting for a vision to find me and meet my requirements, which I am not all together sure what they are. I freeze when I am "the man," but when I find "the man," I make him a better one.

I've never found that fit. Waiting, praying, listening, talking.