Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A meeting of another kind

Today, I met with my pastor for the second time in a couple months...

Earlier, at our first meeting, we simply chatted, discussed some theology, and exchanged a few bits of reading material. It was a great time to learn about some things to which I hadn't given much thought in the past. Therefore, last Sunday evening, when I asked if we could get together this week, I don't think he had a very good idea of what had been lingering in the back of my head and was finally ready to come out.

It was a topic I had discussed with a couple of my closer friends outside of the church. One of those friends advised me that it was time for me to talk to pastor about it. The issue at stake, as we eventually concluded today, was one which involves the very survival of our congregation. You see, there has for years been a slow and barely noticeable drift of people (young people especially) from our church. This is not to say that we have not encountered bright spots. The big picture, though, has told a sad story of a dozen or so young people who, having barely graduated from highschool, essentially disappeared from our lives.

Not that today's conversation with pastor began on this exact note. My starting issue was about the fact that I, while president of the young peoples group, still didn't feel as though I was a part of the youth group. My issue was the fact that I was discouraged by the lack of desire to discuss such things as the bible, theology or other such things on a common every-day basis. My issue was the fact that I can sit-in on some conversations for 15 minutes straight and not remember much of what was said.

After these issues had been tapped and acknowledged, we got around to the topic of getting a post-highschool bible study together in the church. Pastor had mentioned something about doing it when we last met. I have been thinking about it since then and I wanted to figure out if there were tangible goals we might be able to work toward... It was also truly humbling and scary to realize how much is at stake. My assignment is to come up with a charter of sorts to be presented to the consistory and anyone that might be interested in coming.

I guess some of the problems we are bound to face is the lack of time people will immediately claim to be bound by. We don't expect to get more than a couple people to start out. It's a tough thought to deal with. I think that is the main thing that has held pastor back in the past. Now things are different, though. As pastor said, we cannot afford to sit and wait till more young people "have the time" to put into something like this. It must be understood that this is just as necessary as the food we eat--not something to be subservient to our softball or soccer schedule! One of my goals is to help people realize just how much we are currently failing to treat each other like the family we are. We are not building each other up and turning to each other for our spiritual health and happiness! I hope someday there will be a proper priority placed on the family of God as he has created it in the church! I long for the time when we can truly say that our best friends are of our own church family. I long for the day when, while in-between one Sabbath and another we can still look to each other for the help and care that we need as believers and fellow pilgrims. What a wonderful day, when each of us becomes so close in brotherly love that we cannot be unaware each other's trials--so that we may better serve to build each other up.

And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. -1 Corinthians 12:26

What a sad story if the Body of Christ knows not what the other member does and needs. How will a hand dress a wounded foot if the hand knows not that there is a wound? Is a body really a body if it does not as a whole feel even the slightest pain in the smallest member? God knows our every need. But does He not intend to provide for them through the means he has provided--namely, the members of His own Body. How can I know what my brother needs if he cannot or will not speak to me in a language which will convey it?

We can only pray for God's blessing on what we do at this point. Continuing as we are is not an option.


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