Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Part of my personality is to be a loyal person. I'm loyal to my grocery store, my alma maters, my former company and my Broncos--even when they lost 2 Superbowls in a row and even before that when they were put down by every sportcaster in a state other than Colorado. I'm loyal to my friends, my family, and ultimately to God. I'm not saying I'm perfect or always faithful, but loyalty seems to be an upholding, allegiance, and pride.

So, what about loyalty to one's church family? Our church recently changed our mission statement and vision--and I'm REALLY excited about it. For once in my 25+ years of being a Christian, I'm letting the Holy Spirit challenge me in some new ways. So, why are some people leaving? There isn't any heresy. It's all biblical. Some may be leaving because of changes in music or they just can't get past the comfortable way we've always done church...but it just seems disloyal. If we are the body...then when people leave its like an amputation...sure its not like they aren't part of the greater body, but it leaves a hole. Sometimes the hole is mainly emotional, but it really gives me an uneasy feeling. And I'm not sure that I want that to go away. We don't leave family...even when they do things to hurt us...or we have a disagreement...or we just don't "like" something about them.

(Thanks to Roger for the amputation analogy)


At 11:53 AM, Blogger Ken said...

It is a tough journey to make changes. It is comforting and exciting that there are many people like you who are willing to go into the unknown with us. Its difficult to discern if some of this is amputation or pruning.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Mellifluous said...

Of course, pruning is the more positive--and hey Biblical--way of looking at it. I guess when its people you know and like, it seems more permanent, but as the growth happens after the pain, it will all be worth it.

At 11:14 PM, Blogger Sherrie said...

Mel ~

I sooooooooooo agree with all of your thoughts and ponderings on this post.

Our whole family (myself+Dave+Ryan+Drew+Sean+Trey) have come out of the darkness to know and love Christ at Grace Chapel. The thought of leaving would seem like divorcing this precious church family that God has provided for us.

And beyond that, in our 14 years here, we've been so blessed by the godly teaching and leadership at Grace ... thus, there would be no "reason" to leave. And XCEL is extremely biblical and hasn't, in my experience, yet really "changed" too much at the church. Let's see, the youth are trying it out, but other than that all the things I've participated in & contributed to have not changed in anyway that I can think of.

The one complaint about Grace that I've heard on a fairly regular basis has been about lack of connection / lack of real community. I think this has some validity (I do think that in our culture it can be hard to connect in a meaningful way very quickly ... and I think our church communications about how and where to connect need improvement) but I also think there is a big chunk of self-responsibility. Once you really want to connect and have community, there are several places at Grace in which to do so. Volunteer anywhere. Join a Sunday School class. Take Financial Peace University for 13 weeks. Participate in GROW or MOPS or Men's Group. I'm sure the list is longer.

A funny thing about allowing this complaint to lead you to leave is that it does take time to connect, so leaving to find a new church just starts the time clock all over again and would thus seem rather counterproductive if what you really want is meaningful connection. No?

An old man sat outside the walls of a great city.

When travelers approached, they would ask the old man, "What kind of people live in this city?

And the old man would answer, "What kind of people live in the place where you came from?

If the travelers answered, "Only bad people live in the place where we came from," the old man would reply, "Continue on; you will find only bad people here."

But if the travelers answered, "Good people live in the place where we came from," then the old man would say, "Enter, for here, too, you will find only good people."

-- Yiddish folk tale

I'm not bright enough to figure out if that applies here, but it came to my mind with the assumption that it just might :~)

You're wonderful.


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