If you have question for Wayne, or would like to suggest a topic for the group in discussing this chapter, please post it here.
" I trust God to bring people across my path that he wants me to know, especially as I follow his nudges to be in places that allow me to interact with others. But it takes some intentionality on our part to move beyond the customary “Hi, how are you?” and open the door to real relationships".
It’s Saturday night. I have spent a lot of Saturday nights pondering what I am going to do the following morning. Do you remember your visit to the Edmonton area? (not really my question) I have felt for a while that I have wanted to go back to that little community where we gathered and “check in on them”. I get discouraged every time I go in on their website and remind myself what they are really about. They are still an “IC” but they had a hope for something more. I guess that is why they invited you to visit.
I am getting nudged, but have passed on those nudges for a fews months now. Does it discourage you when you are asked to places like this, knowing that you are walking into system, more than a group of people who want a change in their life? (maybe that is my question). I don’t know if I have expectations of this community… just because they asked you in for a weekend.
Maybe tomorrow is the day I choose to go for a visit… or maybe not. It’s not like I want to go on a regular basis. I just want to drop in and see if what they heard and discussed that weekend actually stayed with them.
I am stuck. I guess I miss them… and it was only a weekend. Maybe the real question is this. Can I help them? I guess that is a question I have to ask myself.
PS. They got a new pastor. When you were here, they were in the process of looking for one. They found one.
Hi Ruby. Not in the least. I actually wasn’t invited by the congregation, but the one they were considering to be their pastor. I too love the conversations we had on Friday and Saturday, but that was only a few of those who’re part of that congregation and others from the area who came to join us. When I spoke Sunday morning, I was pretty certain that the vast majority of people in that room weren’t on the same journey as we talked about on Friday and Saturday. A lot of people just enjoy the comfort of a Sunday service and aren’t really on a God journey of knowing him and following his life. They think they are, but they are caught in the religious web of activity without relationship. I was sad for them and sad for my friend who was hopeful to take them on a different journey.
But he and his family continue on that journey and some of their friends. Maybe that’s who you want to touch base with, but if I remember that’s quite a ways from you.
But follow the nudges. Always follow the nudges, right or wrong and sort out how God is making his way known to you.
Wayne, I followed the nudge. I went to “church” on Sunday. I “endured” for an hour and a bit and left right after the new pastor finished his sermon. I debated waiting around for the people part, but felt that if I was to interact with anyone, I would face being dishonest about my experience. It was not what we had that weekend.
I left that building with no wonder as to why I won’t go back.
The next chapter of this story happened today. I found myself in a conversation with one of my coworkers. Our conversation drifted into my past “church” attendance and he asked where I was going now. I told him I wasn’t and that led into a discussion about my “need” to go.
It wasn’t so much his responses and his convictions about church attendance that I was amazed at. I was amazed at my own feelings after the conversation. He did everything in his power to “lovingly” guilt me back to the sheep pen… but I came away from that conversation feeling good about where I am in life. I didn’t feel coerced or guilty. I think I am growing more confident in my choices.
I gave my coworker a copy of your article from the Phenomenon of the Dones series “Five Factors Contributing to the Decline in “Church Attendance”” He said he would read it. I am thinking it will give us something more to talk about. I gave the same article to my mom this morning as I dropped her off at the airport. She is in Ottawa this weekend for a national conference for her denomination. I think it is a good article to hand out to folks like my mom and my co-worker. Even though they are both sold out on their way of doing things, this article gently presents the other side of the story that we, who gather here, are more than familiar with.
P.S. My coworker comes from Kenya. I asked him if he heard about Pokot. He said he had heard about the people that live in that region. He hadn’t been there, but he said he was aware of the region. Interesting the things that can enter into a conversation. We talked about Poverty Inc. He told me he would check out the movie. I look forward to more conversations now that we have broken some ice.
You learn a lot following the nudges… Doesn’t always turn out the way we hoped, but we always learn something and see God’s fingerprints differently. Love that. It works even when we’re wrong about our nudges. We still learn.