It’s my boys’ last day of school. This is especially significant because, after today, their school is closing for good. So, my heart is heavy and hurting for the teachers and families affected. I want to focus on my pain today, but time is short and ministry doesn’t stop because I’m playing hurt.
People leave a church for reasons as various and as basic as why they came in the first place. I’m trying to learn the art of letting go. If someone wants to go, one reason is as good as the next, and not letting go soon enough can cause you to feel dragged down the highway, your chin hitting the pavement as you try to stop a speeding car by holding on to the bumper. I’m doing my best to learn this lesson – apparently I’m a slow learner because I seem to revisit this lesson over and over.
Traditionally speaking, success in the ministry is defined by not losing any good church member (or bad ones for that matter) unless they are dead (then you have to bury them on the property) or they move to Alaska (and then they must visit if they are within an 8 hour driving distance). Bottom line: A good church doesn’t lose good people for no good reason! The only problem with all this is: IT’S A LIE.
But, redefining success – actually is just choosing to let go of my desire to know if I’m being “successful” in ministry or in life. My job is to just be obedient, and to let go of everything that gets in the way of that. That may sound cold or uncaring, but I don’t let go because I don’t care; I choose to let go because it hurts enough to really get in the way.
So, today when my boys get home from school, I’m sure I’ll have a moment to feel my grief – the loss of children that I won’t get to see grow up, the knowledge that those who leave won’t get to see and feel what God’s going to do. But I choose to lay it down and walk on. My heart is broken, but my spirit is free.