This is basically a status update on my Church’s Won’t You Be Our Neighbor Program:
My church is in transition from Family Size to Pastoral Size
In short we are going from teensy-weensy to tiny sized congregation
and our farmer’s market has 100 people more a week averaging at about 350 ppl a week
Let there be wild rejoicing
But….its work. We are going to have to stretch and grow with these changes. I’m going to have to pray about how better to connect spiritually to the community, I need to discern how to provide the support that my (now overworked) volunteers need.
I compared it on Sunday to the cup that God promises us to be overflowing. Have you ever tried to drink out of a cup that is filled to the tippy-top? Its tricky and messy….but important
I think we are going to do it. We are going to be a church that is an actual community center.
So…the thing about drunkenness is that its abundance, right?
Its too much…
15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.–Eph 5:18 (for a little bit about how we want to fill ourselves with other things note This Everyday Holydiscussion I participated in)
My congregation had a very Holy Spirit moment one yr at a Chicken BBQ, I can’t remember what number it was, but we ordered only about 200 chickens and they were gone, in like an hr flat. And there was much panic about how few were left at the end, and how were we going to keep track and how we were going to send ppl away.
And many, many ppl who wanted to get chicken went home sad.
And we were sad for them.
And I think this is how it feels to be filled with the Holy Spirit, when the good of the situation is COMPLETELY out of control. Like, you know, in Acts when all the disciples were speaking in tongues and suddenly everyone wanted to convert. I imagine Chicken and the Bible still resulted in CRAZY GOODNESS.
I am sensing this conflict rising now, its hard not to take on “too much” in the congregation. The question has changed from “What if we fail?” to “What if we succeed”
That’s right, we are literally afraid that we will be overwelmed, that we will have too much of a good thing.
I guess that trusting in God is trusting that there will be enough room for all the people who want to come to your Farmer’s Market/exercise class/back to school celebration thing that some people crazily wants to do. (that’s me, I’m definitely in the crazy corner).
I never thought of it before but there are too reasons not to do something, bc it might succeed, or it might fail.
But we take on too much, we are overflowing, thats when we grow.
Poor Holy Spirit, no one wants to drink of you, because when we do we change, it is by far the most bombastic member of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes you blurt out the truth in sticky situations, to cheer out loud whether its appropriate or not, to make you offer something of yourself that your weren’t planning/didn’t even know you had to offer.
But that’s what makes her so good.
Now imagine that we got drunk on that!
(Ps I recommend Mann’s Book The In-Between Church for congregations that are subconsciously dealing with fears of growth)