24 September, 2007 5:47 PM
In my last post I spoke about the transition time that we're going through as a community at LivingRoom with V and I moving on from the community at the end of this year (it's looking like we'll finish early in December or late in November).
While the transition has been something that we've been thinking about day in and day out for 8 months now it has been fascinating to see how different people have responded to the news in that last post.
Overwhelmingly people have been very encouraging. A few have emailed to ask questions and ask for clarification of rumors they'd heard (it's amazing (and a little concerning) what goes around - none of which has had any truth to them) but in general there has been some really wonderful feedback.
An Emerging Theme
One thing that I've found particularly interesting is the large number of people who have said that they resonate with the paragraph that I wrote about my 'sense of mission and ministry' in which I pointed back to my previous post on the topic of some of my own personal discovery and evolution in understanding of Ministry as being connected to work.
I've received email after email from people in paid ministry who have been coming to similar realizations and discoveries that perhaps God is 'calling' them to a different kind of 'ministry' outside that of paid ministry.
Some have told stories of how they have already made a similar transition to full time 'secular' (I dislike that word more and more) work, other have talked about moving into a part time paid ministry and part time work situation and others have expressed a desire to make the transition.
What interests me is that those emailing come from both emerging communities and more traditional churches.
My reactions to these emails is twofold:
1. I'm really excited and encouraged by it - It's affirming to know that I'm not alone in feeling the feelings that I've had this last year and to see that God's doing something amazing across the globe in his people who are discovering him and his mission in their work. I've heard some exciting stories of what's been going on for people and am increasingly energized by it.
2. I'm left with many questions - On the flip side of this I'm left wondering about 'church' and 'leadership'. While I'm certain that every pastor and minister around the world is not about to get up and leave their communities to go and get jobs outside the church - I do wonder whether we're seeing something happening here that will lead to us as Church to rethink how our communities are lead. I don't have the 'answers' to this - but it's a question we've certainly been pondering at LivingRoom of late and one that I'm beginning to see numerous other churches (particularly emerging ones) grappling with as their leaders feel the time is right to move on.