Ok, let's be blunt. When the launch team first moved out to Orlando last year, there were twenty-two people sitting around the leadership table. After a few months, a couple left...a few months later, another. But in the past five weeks we lost two-thirds of our leadership team. There are seven of us left from the original launch team. Some will be moving away, some will be moving back, some will be staying in the area. It's been very hard.
As you can imagine, it's been a difficult month. Some might liken it to a church split--which I find ironic because we're less than a year old and are a church of less than 80 people. Some might liken it to a spiritual cleansing...others to God's judgement. In a desperate attempt to cut the tension one day, someone began humming, "...Another one bites the dust...and another goes, and another goes....etc." However you cut the cookie, it's difficult--and awkward. What do you say to a church member--possibly a new christian when they say, "Hey where's Pastor So-in-so today?" Oh man...they don't know...what do I say??...say something quick--but don't change your tone, or whisper, or act like you disapprove--or approve, or there's anything wrong, or they should worry....um..... "Well, God is moving them in a different direction." Now smile and nod. Exhale. Good. Hopefully they'll get the letter from Pastor Joseph this week explaining in general what's going on.
I think the hardest part of this for Kenneth and I to learn is that we don't have to have an opinion. Because in a small team like this, where friendships have formed, something like this can be very personal. But, we don't have to know why so-in-so left, or have an opinion about their reasons. So many people want to have an opinion--and on top of that, want it to be heard. But when it's all said and done...all we have to do it do the last thing God told us to do. We don't have to talk. We don't have to form an opinion. We simply have to serve...because that's what He told us to do. Are you called to something? Then do it. Don't ask why so-in-so over there is taking a different direction. Just do the last thing God told you to do...and don't stop doing it until He tells you to.
"No more aborting what God has placed inside us. He [God] told me to ask the church: 'Who will carry that which I've placed within them to full term? Who will allow Me to stretch them and break them and mold them and cause them to be inconvenienced? Who will allow Me to utterly transform their lives by the shape of the promise within them?'"
~Heidi Baker, missionary in Africa