Monday, January 31, 2011

The New, Orange Me.

Jason and I were talking this morning and I realize that I have a lot of growing up to do.  Not just growing, but growing up.  Let me explain.  I came to the harsh realization that I have preconceived notions about what the end product of this process is going to look like.  I admit, I have images of parents and children, skipping hand in hand, coming to church together with smiles on their faces because the parents have looked forward to being re-energized by Brad's preaching and to continue their children on the track to learning about Jesus by utilizing the CM (Children's Ministry for those who care :) ) as just 1 / 7 of their child's spiritual formation!

Of course, being the realist that he is, Jason brought me back down to earth.

What was intriguing about our conversation is the transparency that I am finding myself have now a days.  I am much more open to admitting mistakes than I had ever been before in my life.  My old paradigms are shattering and it is scary and it hurts at times, but I like what glimpses I see.  I see myself becoming a little more dependent upon the faithfulness of God, rather than the faithfulness of Evan each day.  For me, that is huge.  However, God really droveit home in my reading this morning.

Exodus 4: 1 - 17 is a section of scripture that kicks me in the butt.  I am a natural whiner.  I'll admit it.  When the weather is bad (for me, bad is cold and rainy...I'll take 20 degrees and snow or 75 and rain, but never the two should meet!), I'll whine.  When my food isn't all that, I'll whine.  When the Browns don't win (which is very often), I'll whine.  Its in my blood..  However, I pale in comparison to Moses.  We could have been mentor and mentee.  He was the supreme whiner and I love verse 14..."Then the Lord's anger BURNED against Moses..."  It was because Moses was doubting who God was calling him to be.

Then I realized, in all of this, I don't think Orange is just for the church and the health of the CM, but I think it is equally for me.  I must realize that before a chidlren's pastor, I am a child of God, a husband and a father and if I'm not allowing God to help me hit at all cylinders in those positions, then I will be no good at being a children's pastor.  I have to be willing to allow God to change me in this process to become what he wants me to become. 

OK.  I give.  Just, can we be quick about it, Lord?...No?...Alright.  Let's go.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Feelings...nothing more than feelings...

As this transformation begins, I am finding myself begin to gravitate more towards those who are "orangish".  Know what I mean?  I mean, I know that I shouldn't forsake everyone else, but its something about these people that I love.  When you mention the orange concept to them, they light up.  It is almost as if you ignited a flame in them that desperately wanted to burn for years.  It is very exciting to see people, one by one, get it and don't even know that they do.  Now, its my job to hone that and get them to realize that they are doing great and just keep it up!  I like this part :)

However, the part that I dislike is looking at the folks who may never understand why a change like this must take place.  I look at the wonderful saints and think to myself, "Its OK.  Its not in my hands anyway.  God will do what God wants to do with them."  I will love them and serve them, but I know that our time serving on the same team may be waining.  However, I can't love them more than God, so it simply must be God that takes care of all of us through this process.  By the way, I have to get back to writing curriculum, I am waaaay behind!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Am I too orange?

Well, after a very trying week last week, because of the loss of my father in law, I was able to sit down with Jason and hammer out my "Orangish" 5 year plan.  I love it because now, all I have to do is put it on a calendar and its full throttle ahead.  However, I began thinking, "Am I beginning to become an orange zealot?"  Then I thought, "Is that such a bad thing?"

I was reading the story about Zaccheus and it occurred to me that Jesus was definitely a zealot, just a really cool, laid back zealot.  He didn't blow a trumpet, or start a parade.  He simply just said, "Zaccheus, come down.  I'm going to your house."  Now, it did create some kind of stir among the stuffed shirts of Jerusalem to see Jesus meet with such "scum."  But this orange journey is starting out a lot like that for me.  In my mind full of programming and gimmicks, I am being forced to adopt a philosophy...

I don't like it.

Matter of fact, its time consuming, pushy, in my face all the time.

But...I kind of like a weird, self-deprecating sort of way.

Its painful to think of the hours and days and months and years that this is going to take.  Nevertheless, I will do it.  Why?  because its the right thing to do.  God is calling us all to help families, not become the Ivory Tower of Knowledge.  So, as my 5 year old daughter's Zhu-Zhu pet says, "Here we go!"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day One - The Beginning

I love this church.  I love who I work with and will always praise God for this staff.  As the children's pastor, embarking on this journey, at times, feels like I am sailing off into a nebulous fog that is impenetrable.  As Jason, the youth pastor, and I begin to really ask the question, "How do we completely and totally serve families in our community," I begin to have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I begin questioning everything that I thought about children's ministry, even though I have only been at it for about 10 months! 

I have promised myself to blog 1 time a week with extra entries coming as inspired blessings.  I am excited and scared at the same time.  Change is hard, but at times, is necessary.  This change is going to be great...I just don't really feel like going through it, that's all.

Proverbs 11:14 - "Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers."