Friday, November 9, 2012

post-pro-pastor pt.5

I used to think big, shiny buildings and dynamic pastoral staff were indicative of a healthy church-body...now I'm not so sure

if you have been following along with the past posts in this series, I applaud you

as I have mentioned before, this has been a journey and I by no means think that I have arrived anywhere yet

a couple months back, I sat down to share my heart with some very dear friends of mine

I share this with you because I think it gives a glimpse at my intention and desire that may have become clouded through earlier posts

...

"to be utterly honest, my soul has been feeling dry for quite some time, there has been something missing

this dryness began after a few years into 'professional pastoring' - there seemed to be a longing for something deeper, something more connected...something more like church

this is not a critique, but rather an acknowledgement of a deep longing that I believe most of us carry

'church' had become my job, following Jesus my occupation...but that can't be, not anymore

just as I could never be paid for being Kai and Rylan's Dad, nor receive salary for loving my wife, Brett, so I have been called to love God and the Church without compensation (or more strictly - not for compensation)

....

there have been many turns and twists, but this brings me to today

in the beginning of the early Church, priorities seemed to be different. I've been stuck on this passage for years:

Acts 2:42-47

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

this is what I desire - not for my 'likes' because to be honest, it would be easier not to...but because I believe this is how God designed us to be

I want to love God, I want to get to know Him more, I want to develop a deeper love for Him
I want to learn more of His Word (because most times I'm confused)
I want to do this with a community of people
I want this community to eat and pray and 'do life' together.
I want amazing things to happen
I want to care for others
I want to want to praise God (does that make sense?)
I want others to follow Jesus

now, this may sound hokey and/or idealistic or completely diluted and I'm ok with that...because I think deep down - you want this too

I'm really sick of playing church...and I'm pretty sure it'll be the death of my soul

I want to BE the Church, I want to live as the Church...and on top of all that - I want to do it with all you!

Tyson"

*if you still want to throw me under the heretical bus...do be gentle, I am fragile 

...

I understand that I did not provide a lot of answers to many of the questions I was posing throughout these 5 posts...my prayer is that we can continue to journey together

models and paradigms are only as effective as the people involved

one thing I've grown to appreciate is the quiet, faithfulness of a servant...there are many untold (and that's the way they like it) stories about women and men who diligently serve day in and day out

may we be the leaders that follow those servants...may we be the leaders that follow THE servant

...

there are pictures in my mind of communities flourishing through trial, persevering through celebration and worshiping through life - I would love to show them to you...but I'm pretty sure all the elements are right around you already...may our eyes be opened to see them

Amen

4 comments:

Collin Neuman said...

Great posts Tyson, definitely food for thought. We should get together for a coffee some time. It's been quite a while since we chatted, but I've been a volunteer youth ministry leader / youth pastor for about 8 years; who would have guessed that in high school, hey?

Over the last 8 years, I've definitely seen God do some amazing things in our youth ministry. We've grown from 4-6 kids per week to consistently 25-30. About three years ago we stepped out in faith to start a youth worship band and since then God has brought some very talented young musicians into our ministry. Last year he even brought us a very gifted drummer all the way from the Philippines :). Not all of our plans have worked out, but I know that His plans will, according to His schedule, as long as we continue to seek His direction.

On a different note, I can definitely see that the things I've learned as a youth ministry leader have helped me in my (other) job, and the things I've learned in my job have helped me as a youth ministry leader. God has also blessed and prospered me in my job, which has allowed me to sow into the youth ministry financially, as well as with my time and abilities. I'd have to say, that if I had the opportunity, I'd have major reservations about being paid for the time I put into the ministry. God has met my needs, and I think that money could have a greater impact elsewhere.

I should probably clarify, I have no problem with the idea of paid ministry positions. There are certainly many responsibilities that can not be handled effectively by a group of part time volunteers. I do believe, however, that as Christians we are called to serve, just as Christ came to serve rather than to be served. As such, it makes sense for the local church to provide opportunity and encouragement for everyone to use their gifts, not just paid staff members.

Anyway, like I said, we should definitely get together for a coffee some time. God bless.

Collin

Anonymous said...

You should write a book Tyson. You have so many thought provoking things to say that and i think more people deserve to hear these words

Anonymous said...

"I'm really sick of playing church...and I'm pretty sure it'll be the death of my soul"

I felt a similar way a few years ago. I read the book "So you Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore" and it resonated with me very deeply. I didn't (don't) agree with everything in the book, but the honesty and potential freedom the book hinted at was a breath of fresh air at the time.

I took a "sabbatical" from church to re-prioritize my life and this put me back on the track to rediscovering myself and my true passions, and to finding a deeper layer of truth and reality.

The phony self that was "playing church" was left in the dust, with no regrets. I hope you can find a similar path to freedom and rejuvenation.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the community described in Acts 2:42-47, these communities do exist today:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Tribes_communities

For this particular group, you'd have to move to Winnipeg or B.C. But I'm sure there are other similar groups.

THP