I’ve been thinking a lot about our upcoming move.
My recent musings have turned in the direction of ease. Specifically, what we as Christians are called to – is it a life of ease, or a different kind of life? A life of toil, sacrifice, challenge, hard work, cross-bearing?
David accepted a senior pastor position at a small, rural church.
We’ll be moving from our city home in a poor urban neighborhood to a relatively wealthy small town. Objectively speaking, this town is probably just solidly middle-class and comfortable – but compared to what we are accustomed to (and to what I really have loved), it’s picturesque and affluent.
We will be moving from a small and struggling inner-city church, where every day brings new crises and fresh loss, where every small victory is celebrated fiercely because we so often see failure, to a regular small church – like the small churches I’ve been in and out of all my life, wonderful groups of people who have regular, comfortable lives.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with this. I know that inner-city ministry isn’t for everyone, and that’s not where I’m going.
Where I am going is this: I don’t believe that we’re called to live comfortable lives. I don’t believe that being a Christian should be easy. I do believe that it should be fulfilling and exciting, but I also believe that we should be living our ministry in a way that interferes with our “daily” lives.
I worry that our new church will be comfortable for me. Too easy.
Where I am now, I’m constantly busy, often exhausted. There is too much work for too few workers. It’s hard. And heartbreaking. And I love it – there’s something very fulfilling about being useful. In one sense, any sane human can contribute as well as any other – just be being there and being willing to work; in another sense, I am important. We each have gifts that make a real difference – something that makes us uniquely useful. This is how I have come to understand what Paul talks about when he talks about how the church should be.
We will go to a church that has survived and even grown a bit in the absence of a pastor. They are ready for a fresh vision, and a strong teacher – but the congregation has what they need. There are well-established ministries, and they’ve established a good rhythm.
I worry that, because I won’t see immediate in-my-face need and won’t feel the urgency of too few hands, I’ll drift back into just being a nice Christian girl who goes to church on Sunday and Wednesday and can separate her walk from her life.
That’s what’s on my mind this week.