This poor ol' journal is undernourished since the Java Connection blog got set up. Good thing since Teena and I are a team on that one.
This one is a bit more risky since I tend to share more candidly. The possibility exists that someone may read and recognize a potential criticism pointed their way. Am I justified to quote YHWH's Mesheach (something along the lines of): "Those with ears to hear and eyes to see...?"
We had lunch yesterday and great discussion with David Henson (curious/ironic last name given variation of linguistics and phonetics). He is the pastor of Crossfire Church in Clemmons, NC - where Teena and I gathered in community on Sundays while living in Lewisville.
His journey and "holy dissatisfaction" has a very familiar articulation. He has actually been a church planter watching growth and observing increase in numbers correlating with decrease in mission and pro-active Christ following - but on a much larger scale than we had recently experienced (oversaw a staff of 10).
He has a delightful combination of confidence with humility with a continual eagerness to learn and allow God to correct his notions. We resonate with that. At one point he stated that in the past, he would be seen as ecclesiastically successful, but no one could know the emptiness of only "wiping noses" and not observing service from those under his influence. He finally became more engaged in action than spending most of his time preparing a presentation that would find expression in a limited time span on one day of the week. The result was loosing a large number of humanoids who would inflate the number role and conversely maintaining a vital remnant of self-sacrificing servants who readily exited comfort zones for the sake of Christ's Kingdom. He footnoted that the earmark for this dynamic often hinged on moving into a new facility (hmmmm...)
In retrospect, he made a declaration during our lunch that hit me with tremendous impact: "I don't mean this with puffed-up pride, but I would put our small community and what we do up against any large 'successful' church."
Teena and I drove away appreciative that we have a new friend we can meet with and mutually support by way of insight and accountability.