No one really likes transition. We are accustomed to getting things the way we like them and then maintaining that. Change is uncomfortable. It is unknown. And usually unwelcome.
Story is now in transition. And it is the healthiest thing we have ever done.
Story was an experiment of sorts. A different type of 'church. A gathering where conversation and openness would be part of the DNA. Over the last 3 years, this has developed into a style that is not only helping people find faith, but producing healthier people, families and community.
As well, for the most part, churches in not only the Durham area, but in Canada in general; do not have many expressions that are different from a small variation of singing, teaching and small groups. And for the majority of people, this works fine. For Story, we were looking to connect with those who were looking for something a little less orthodox. A place where they could ask questions and continue dialoging with others. A place where people were not just trying to get them to attend church or convert, but to make honest friendships. A unique expression. And that Story is.
So why is this transition healthy? Why is the person who started this leaving it?
Imagine training to be a Doctor. You spend 14+ years going to school. You graduate and then you don't go out into a practise. You sit in a room, once a week, to hear about how you should go into the world and make more doctors. Seem ridiculous? Of course. What you are trained to do is not make more doctors (at least not yet), your job is to help others. To give care for those who need it and heal. There has to be a time when you simply go. To sit there week after week isn't helping anyone. So comes transition.
Everyone who is alive has a gift. These gifts are not just meant for a once a week thing. They are meant to help the world, to encourage and bring life. But to discover your gift sometimes it means that you have to risk stepping out and using those gifts. It means getting uncomfortable and going after opportunities to use that gift.
The only way to see your true gift in action is to step out and use it.
And so, I am getting out of the way. I am being a bit like the dad/mom bird pushing the baby birds out of the nest. You were meant to fly.... Sure it all may fail. It might. But it also may fly higher than anyone thought. You never know until you let go.
Also, for me personally; this transition is about my family. For my 12 +years as a minster, we had to go where the jobs are. Even though we started this expression in Bowmanville, we still felt called to this area. Now though, we feel this prompting for family near by. Almost all of our friends and even colleagues have family within a small drive and we haven't had that privilege. As we are realizing what being healthy and whole people are, we are giving space to realize the strong desire to have our family grow up together. We are also realizing that this church expression is not ours, its God's and the communities. Yes we may have been the hub, but only as God prepared others to step into that position.
And so, how do you help others step out in faith to use or even find their gifts? You push them into transition.
And me also.
I also have to keep discovering my gifts, abilities. I hope to try something new too! Maybe even becoming an author :)
So. Here we are. In the middle of it.
Feels messy. But peaceful.
Feels easy to focus on negative. But so focused on the possibilities!
Just so excited to see Story fly.
Pray for us. For Story. For this old but new way of building a community of faith. Pray for my family as we transition, to a new town, a new neighbourhood and meet new people. This is us, relying on God to come through. This is us saying 'risk' to all of those who are scared to. This is us saying, "Jump!" because God will meet you right there.
If I had a glass, I would raise it and toast;
To my Story family. The 3 best years of my life went by in a blur. I have more stories to share, more family to love and more depth in my faith than ever before. Sharing our lives with you has been the more rewarding thing we have ever done. I am your number one cheer leader as you figure out how to follow Jesus together. May you lean on God, on each other and become all you were meant to. Thank you for everything.
D, S, J, E, E + W