The past few weeks have been amongst the strangest in my ministry life…and thats saying something.
Let me recap in short form.
At Inglewood Community Church we have had the busiest three months I can remember. Pictures in the Park, AGM, coming off a busy Christmas, Baptisms, Church Camp, salvations….and the busiest we have ever been at our Sunday Services.
A few weeks back at Church I stood up to encourage people to sit towards the front, so visitors don’t have to make the embarrassing trip down the front to find a seat. As I was saying that, I realised there were no seats left anyway. Thats our biggest crowd ever.
This should make me feel happy right? And everyone tells you, ‘its a good problem to have’. But the truth is I felt overwhelmed, stressed, sad, unsure of myself. As a Church we need to make some serious decisions about our future. I am about Church Growth. If a church is growing, it is a healthy Church. But our growth this year has been quick.
Also, and in a strange way, something else affected me. I had promised my son that I would take him on a ‘daddy son’ fishing trip before he had to go back to school. Due to some unfortunate and unavoidable circumstances, that could not happen. That was a regret.
So I felt I needed to take my son away, but I also felt guilty about leaving the church for 3 or 4 days. Explaining to people why I was going away, when they are all busy, focused on ministry, and looking for leadership, was not easy. Not that they made it hard, it was what was going on in my head that was the problem.
But I went away, and that was the start of things getting better, and they needed to. Because I was in a deep funk.
Clem and I went to Myalup for a camping/beach holiday. Just spending time listening to the ocean roll in while sleeping in my tent did me good. So did a few walks along the beach praying, fishing and swimming. I don’t want to pretend this was a spiritual retreat, it was not. More like stress leave. But I did pray.
I am not out of the woods yet, but God has been speaking to me clearly, even from the start of this year. His word to me was clearly, ‘I am going to bring things to you’. So far He has. People to church, a trip to Sydney, and next…where our Church is going to go next.
I am waiting on Him. Even writing this blog post and knowing it will go public is helping.