Monday, October 31, 2005


Are you feeling the pain? Growth is painful.

An adage by which CTK has lived is: There is no growth without change, no change without loss, no loss without pain. When you chart a course for growth, you are asking for it.

Through the years, as we have given away our ministries and multiplied, we have had some tear-filled moments. We have "pushed" some of our favorite birds out of the nest. Sometimes we have been the birds who have flown the coop. In any case, its hard to leave relationships behind, to pursue new ones. But its also rewarding to see "his kingdom come, and his will be done."

A man told me Sunday that he is "trying to find his place again." This is a man who has served in worship ministry in one of our centers for awhile, but with a new CTK Center now in his area, he is experiencing change, loss and pain. He's leaving behind the comfort zone of established friends and responsibilities to embrace a new setting and role. In the end he is going to grow up even more in his faith in this new setting. But its not going to be easy. There is a part of me that wants to "solve" his pain, because I know how he feels. But there's another part of me that knows "there's no way around it, you have to go through it."

I remember well a tear-filled drive back from Anacortes following the last Saturday night service I held there. I was glad to "hand off the baton." I was sad to "hand off the baton." I was hoping it would be the last time I felt that. It wasn't.

Churches cease to grow when they no longer are willing to pay the price for growth. Part of the price to be paid is emotional. Along the path of growth you have to let go of certain things. Ministries in which you were once "hands-on" cannot grow if you continue to be that way. You have to give it away. People cannot grow if you "hold onto them." You have to let them go.

Just recently I went through another "Gethsemane" - "Father, if it's possible, take this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done." I'm now ready to go to the cross, again. Jesus told us that the only way we'd find our lives, is if we lose them for His sake. I'm finding my life again. New buds are starting to form.

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