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Seeing change through others eyes

April 27, 2007

Some changes were announced at my church this week regarding how our home groups will be structured and changed. Specifically it affects the group I have been attending because our leader is stepping out of that role.

It has been hard for me to receive the changes because someone else has made a decision that has very large impacts on my life. A few years ago I went through a very painful experience at another church where church leaders made decisions that had huge impacts on my life. With no advanced warning I found myself in a week’s time losing my support network, social network, ministry, and having my time commitments and position in the church family greatly impacted. This current change with home groups is very difficult for me because again it feels like church leaders have made decisions that are stripping me of my social and support network. This is the fourth home group I have been a part of over the last 2-1/2 years and was the first group I was really starting to trust and open up in. There are people in this group that I really want to have ongoing relationship with, but due to the growth in our church and not having a dedicated time on our calendars to bring us together I doubt that will happen. Rather than feeling supported and uplifted, right now, mostly because of my past experiences, I am feeling abandoned and alone.

This is part of being in a community and learning to share life together. Decisions are made for the good of the entire community, and sometimes that can mean they don’t feel good to specific individuals. I am faced with choices about how I will respond, what I will believe, and how this will impact me. One of the first questions I have to answer is if I trust the church leaders to make these decisions with the best interest of the community (and that includes me) in mind. I do, so next I am faced with the choice to surrender to their leadership and authority or fight it.

We have this same choice with God every day. Are we willing to surrender to his leadership and authority, or do we fight him? Scripture tells us to obey our leaders and submit to their authority. Do I believe my church leaders are serving God? Do I believe God might be working through them? Do I believe that by respecting and surrendering to them I am also surrendering to God and his authority? Am I willing to not only follow their leadership, but seek to make their lives easier and more joyful through my responses and actions? My church leaders seek to follow God too. I pray regularly that my pastors will have the wisdom and guidance they need to lead. If I have faith that God answers that prayer, then I have to trust they are making decisions with the wisdom and guidance God gives them. Do you trust your leaders (pastors, managers, landlords, government officials)? Are you obeying and submitting to their authority? If not, try praying for them. It might change your perspective.

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:16-17

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2007 3:31 am

    I am struck by the your loss of support but know the Lord can use these times to draw you closer. I am praying for you…

    Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For the sake of Your name, O LORD, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble. Ps 143:10-11

  2. April 28, 2007 12:27 pm

    Delany, I am honored by your words and your prayers. Thank you.

    It is difficult to be new to a community and a church, especially when the church is new too. The changes might be hard but in the midst of times where we feel alone it helps me to remember that I have a friend who won’t leave me or forsake me. I trust in where God is leading me, and I do believe he has a plan for me. Like the verse you gave says, I am asking God to show me the way through this instead of choosing my path and asking him to bless me along that way. His ways are greater than mine.

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

  3. kelly permalink
    July 11, 2007 9:42 am

    As a pastor’s wife I am very encouraged to read your article. I’ve been on both sides of change, and it is only God who can help us understand it if we are willing to.

  4. July 11, 2007 6:06 pm

    Thank you Kelly for sharing about this. You are right that it is only God who can help us. I have learned a lot about God and my need for Him through this, but I have also seen growth in my relationship with Him because I choose to trust Him and turn to Him. I am enjoying seeing some new things happening at my church this summer, and I am hopeful that new opportunities and relationships will one day fill the holes that were left through the loss of the relationships and that support group.

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