Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Cambridge God adventure* 37) Pressure builds

(*please skip if you have not been following this story).  Two prayer issues were to dominate 1982 - the use and redevelopment of our premises, and a surprise number 5 item: The minister and his wife - especially in the preaching and pastoral ministry - and for the deacons in their leadership.  

A surprise to me because others insisted that this was now an urgent priority. It is possible for some personality types to manipulate church busyness and to put too many demands on yourself in leadership.  Yet, sometimes spiritual life accelerates because God happenings occur at his bidding. Rick Warren (of Purpose Driven Church fame) takes a surfing image to describe how ministry should look for the next wave and then jump on to join in what God is doing.  Honestly, I believe that we were experiencing some of this... yet the wave was bringing so many new people and issues and so many fresh ideas and visions especially with new groups. Too many?  Spiritual growth pushes leaders like nothing else and spiritual conflict accompanies every forward step.

Many Christian leaders have been there before me.  Unfortunately my wife Carol had become ill over the Christmas period requiring surgery and people in the church shared my concern about her.  Pressures building on me didn't help Carol either.  She reminds me still of her weekly lament. ' I loved sharing in the Sunday worship but I dreaded Sunday night when I knew another week was beginning when you would be at work every day and every night except our day off on Thursday.'

Was I running unwisely?  Probably.  Were other church leaders also working hard to catch up?  Most definitely.  And the prayer group discerned that the whole church needed to focus on us. And were we grateful and surprised at what happened next ?

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