Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Church is in a transition what do I do?

     If you are in a youth ministry position in your church whether volunteer, part time, or full time at some point in time you will have to deal with a bad transition period. If it’s from a pastor leaving, your youth pastor leaving, or your church splitting. At some time in your tenure there you will have to deal with this happening. Great news is the church has been around for 2,000 plus years in one form or another. So there’s always hope.
     First things first. No matter how hard it gets or what is going on remember to focus on this one principle first. It isn't our church! It's Christ's church! Remembering this helps me put my personal feelings aside. If this is what is happening then God has ordained it. I must accept this fact and figure out how to operate under new rules, situations, etc.
     Our church has recently gone through a rough patch. The pastor of the church resigned after 12 years and the church called a younger pastor. Even though the church knew ahead of time he would have younger ideas, etc (mind you not doctrine or theology) they were not really as ready for this as they thought they were. Some members were what I like to call "Staunch Traditionalists". The type that say "we haven't done it that way for 40 years and are not about to change". We had a large group of these people leave the church.
     At first I was shocked and thought "How is our little church going to keep going?" The I realized a few things.
1: That's not my ministry in the church and it was keeping me from focusing on the youth that God has entrusted me with. I had to get my mine off of the problems and put myself to the ministry grindstone.
2: It wasn't the pastor’s fault. He made no doctrinal or theological mistakes. These people had more deep seeded problems that what they were telling us, since their arguments for leaving did not stand the test of scrutiny. So I have to stand with my "boss". I came along side our pastor, helped him through his self doubt, and showed the church that our ministry team is solid and unshakeable.
3: The members of our church that were left needed us. They were as hurt over this as we were and need us to minister to them.
4: My youth needed me to explain to them what was going on and to say it's ok. This stuff happens and we will keep on keeping on.
5: The most important thing to learn is, Christ is still Lord! Nothing changed! These members moved on and hopefully Lord willing will find a church that they fit into and will get plugged in and do the Lord's work there. But God is still God, Christ is still Lord, and the Great Commission didn't change!
      I know there were random facts but all are true. Just remember the best thing you can do in a time of crisis transition is to pray and rest in the comfort of the Spirit.

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