The Thing About That Church Where I Used to Work

If you’re not in the know at ________, this may be news to you:  I have resigned from my leadership position there.  The comments I referenced in this post created an embarrassing situation for the church’s leadership this past weekend, and we have agreed that it would be best for everyone involved to end my season there.  My desk is clean, my key-ring is a lot lighter, and I don’t have to be anywhere in particular Sunday.

You can tell a lot about someone’s character just by obsesrving his or her response to a crisis.  Same goes for churches.  A crisis has this unsettling way of revealing and exposing one’s essence to the world.  Do you respond with grace or justice?  Power or humility?  Escalating fear or quiet confidence?

Here’s the thing about _______:  despite our differences, she is a church of noble and gracious character, full of good people who are earnestly striving to do the right thing.  She is a good church, and I will miss her.

This week I’ve had lots of meetings with people who were well within their rights to be angry with me.  But in meeting after meeting, _______ people have responded to me with favor, grace, and genuine grief at our mutual loss.  We’ve cried a lot of tears this week, but time after time they would be tears of thanksgiving, thanking me for the good work God has done through me there.  I leave this church truly blessed.

Goodbye, ________, and thank you.  May God bless you and increase your tribe.


1 Response to “The Thing About That Church Where I Used to Work”

  1. 1 Dean Cooper April 8, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Honestly Byron I didn’t (and don’t) disagree with the post you have taken down from this blog – and now that you are off staff I think you should put them back. What you said was (and remains) true. I know you well and I know your heart – perhaps that is why the blog didn’t bother me. You could have polished the delivery a bit more . . . but my gut says the significant minority would have howled regardless. They simply saw this as an opportunity to advance their own agenda. Pharisees exist now just as in Jesus’ day. (Yes I used the P word.) Since I’m not on staff I don’t think they can ask for my head for saying the P word. Can they? Well maybe, but I’m not nearly as gracious as you and they would have a fight on their hands.

    The nerves you struck are still exposed and the problems are no closer to being fixed today than they were last Sunday just before you knew of the storm that was brewing. I am hopeful that the folks left behind will have a strong enough voice to make sure your legacy of excellence and service to God is not undone. I sense is committed to staying on the course we are on with the worship style and that brings me hope too. Subtle things were already felt this morning without you there. Worship was good and things went as well as normal but the little things you bring to the service were missed.

    I wonder that if Peter had written a blog would have some of the apostles and disciples have asks him to resign. Perhaps. The other thing I wonder is this . . . if your blog had had the same tone, sarcasm, and such – but you were on the significant minority’s side of the issue would have they called you out and ask for your head or posted their support of your comments? I already know the answer.

    Indeed God is in control. He reigns. And even in the messes He is there. I’m not angry about the fact that you are gone. I think it is best for you. I am a bit irritated by the thief in the night approach that seems to have been taken in getting you to leave. It was wrong. . . executed poorly . . . and with what seems to be the worst timing in the entire world given you had just hatched a juvenile earth creature just 36 hours prior. God knows I am far from perfect and I don’t want to make the same mistakes that I am complaining about here . . . so I’ll go to church and love them regardless . . . and pray that God will deal with them.

    Finally, I am amazed at the grace and dignity in the way you handled this whole thing. Your ability to eat humble pie is amazing and revealed your true character. Thank you for being the leader you are and I miss you already.

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