So, reflecting further on where the tornado left us, listening to the excellent Brown Bear Music's Amazed album (whatever happened to Ian Mizen and Andy Presdee, the UK's two best, most inventive and tuneful writers of worship songs?), I'm pondering...
It is interesting to observe, to feel what happens as you seek to put into effect strategies that have been shaped, honed, worked and prayed through in meetings and away days. It's like the moment when a laboratory discovery is cleared for trials with real humans. Suddenly, this is no longer a good idea, a well-crafted plan. It is something we are going to do. It is something that will have consequences in the lives of people we know, love, have shared our lives with, people who trust us to have their welfare at heart.
And suddenly people aren't as convinced as they were.
I wonder at this point whether God is saying - as he did to Peter - 'Get out of the boat'. Peter was all gung-ho to do so while he was in the boat. Admittedly, it wasn't all that great in the boat with a heavy swell and the darkness closing in all around. But at least it was dry and there was something solid under his feet. Actually getting out of the boat was a different matter. It was wet. The lake was deep. Would faith really hold him up? Why not wait for Jesus to reach them where they were? Why did he open his big mouth?!
Since the beginning of the year God has been saying to me 'get out of the boat'. It's been a word recurring as we've plotted the future direction of the church. And it's been a word for the church not for me as an individual. And now we well and truly need to get out of the boat. And...?
Well, we could wait for Jesus to come to us. And if other people want to meet him, they can come where we are; there's plenty of room for any who walk to us.
And Jesus says 'get out of the boat'; and I am aware that if I stay here, I'll miss him. While the fear gnaws, faith sparks and I have a foot dangling over open water. What next?