My husband RJ was asked to come to a church staff meeting a few weeks ago. We used to go to staff meeting every week to help plan the worship gathering, and discuss the life of the church, but since it is at nine o'clock, after Efrim goes to bed, we have not been since we moved away from the house where it is hosted.
When RJ finally got back, around eleven, he told me that our pastor is leaving our church. He and his wife, my best friend, have looked at several places to move to and continue ministry, and although they are not sure where they are going yet, God has led them to feel that their season at Nexus has come to an end.
My first thought was honestly that I didn't care that much, and I didn't know why RJ said it so seriously, since we are planning to leave too. I was pretty sleepy. Then I started to wonder what will happen to Nexus without Shane and Katy? They have been there since the beginning, Brian and us are the only ones left that have been trying to keep our church alive.
When we went to a staff meeting sans Shane and Katy later that week, I was kind of wondering why I was asked to come, and really not optimistic about the next steps for our church. To explain the first, I have tried to be involved in Nexus, and very committed, but have never been asked to be involved in any leadership decisions. To explain the second, we have very few core members. Most of our church is down and out middle aged people who have come to Brownwood after leaving prison or drug rehab, and are struggling in poverty, or college students who don't want to be involved in a "traditional" church. These people strongly rely on the figurehead of who Shane is, even though the vision he casts for our church is the dream of a larger group of us.
However, this meeting went so differently than I had expected. Almost immediately I was filled with peace as we opened with prayer, and I was filled with excitement and vision as we all discussed the gifts God has placed within our body. For a while now, and none of us has anyone but our complacent selves to blame, we have all been laying aside who we felt God calling us to be in order to be who Nexus needed right now. Although we all felt that Nexus is where God wanted us to be, we didn't feel like it was the place for the ministry we were created for, and that for whatever reason God had us here right now, we had to put that part of ourselves on hold. Many of us even go to other Churches throughout the week because we had a deep need that Nexus wasn't filling. We didn't complain, because we didn't want to be self centered church members who felt that the church was there for our benefit instead of us there for the church. Oddly none of us knew that the others felt the same.
For whatever reason God has called Shane and Katy to move on, he has opened our eyes to do what Brian is calling "Dreaming Again". We are seeing that we do not serve some abstract concept named Nexus, but that Nexus is us. We all believed that a church should be a place where we equip each other to do the ministry God has called us to do, but when Nexus wasn't that it never occurred to us that we were in control, that we could start over, or that if Nexus was not serving the purpose of a church there was no purpose in us serving it to keep it alive.
Now we are dreaming of what our church will look like when it is made up of members who are being who God called them to be. We are looking forward to having the Lord as our Shepherd, and discovering that we don't want for any good thing.