The figure at the right is called a labyrinth. I plan to make one in the in fence in area at the back of the church. The labyrinth has been used by Christians for centuries as a tool to help them in prayer walking and in meditation. At the spiritual retreat I went to a few months back there was a labyrinth that Juanell and I walked and prayed on together. It was an uplifting experience.
The thing about a labyrinth is that you are always progressing toward a goal but sometimes the path seems to lead away from the center. If you trace the labyrinth at the right you will discover this for yourself.
This last Sunday we had several meetings. The trustees met and discussed the things we need to do to take care of the facilities we now use. We talked about the old building. We talked about parking lots. We talked about air conditioners, fans, exit signs, insurance, utilities, and making at least one bathroom ADA compliant for any challenged folks who might come to our meeting place. We also talked about speakers, the gas leak, and the work day we had just completed. The discussion had a lot of passion, truth, compassion, differing opinions but all with hearts wanting to do what is best for our church and ministry. We are fortunate to have such good trustees.
We do have a problem. We have a lot of things needing to be done and a limited amount of resources. Our trustees understand this and will do the best they can to prioritize and organize to make the most of what we have. It is going to be a lot of hard work. The meeting went longer than the hour set aside. Still, it was a needed and good meeting.
Next we had a finance committee meeting. Again good people met and had serious discussions. I talked too much, but I felt as pastor in need to say what I said. It too was a good meeting. Responsible and thoughtful steps were taken to help this committee have a better handle on our finances and set some priorities as well.
After this meeting we had a VBS planning meeting. We want to reach children AND their families. VBS can be a good tool to help us in this cause. This year we want to do a VBS that involves the majority of the members of our church. Hopefully everyone will be willing to give some time to this project. Prayerfully everyone will be willing to be stretched a bit in their comfort zones. But again, this is a concern of finances. Those planning VBS also know our resources are limited. The is agreement on the part of everyone that we should not spend what we do not have!
Finances, faith, and the future are like a labyrinth. The journey to where we want to be can at times be confusing. However, if one sticks to the path and continues to move forward the goal will be obtained—UNLESS, unless we do not know what the goal is or if we do not think the goal is worth the effort or time.
There are those who claim to know exactly what God’s will is for everything the church does (I am speaking of the church in general not our church). I do not make such claims. I do know that God gives visions and missions like the ones God gave to Nehemiah and to Paul. I do pray for direction in the things I try to bring to the attention of our church. I believe if what I bring up is good then it will be affirmed by the majority of the people who have the responsibility for the oversight of that area. I have no problem being told no, nor do I believe those who say no (or yes) are any less in the will of our Lord than I. I do, however, believe it is wrong to just try and maintain where we are. The church is a living organism. If it is not growing, moving, thriving, it is dying. The book of Revelation has something to say about churches on that subject. If we will not be used of the Lord, then the Lord will use someone else. Where there is no vision the people perish.
So, the question for us is, “Where do we go from here?” What is the goal(s)? Are we making sure we are on the journey together?
I am going to make a labyrinth. I hope you will walk it and pray we me.