November 21, 2004

Happenings at the church

Our pastor resigned in a congregational meeting today. There were a lot of reasons for it that I won't go into here. Maybe I'll get a soft copy of the letter handed out and I can post it here. We'll see. A lot of people were shocked about this, as it wasn't entirely expected. The session did a good job of not letting word get out. It was different than when the pastor announced his resignation in my parents' church. That was apparently the worst kept secret in Hudson.

It's hard to say what will happen next. There are essentially two options. First, the church could form a search committee and look for a new pastor. This is a time consuming process that is very draining on the people involved, at least if they put in the required effort. It is necessary, though, for a church in search of a pastor that is a good fit. The second option is to dissolve the church. I'm sure no one wants to dissolve the church, at least at first consideration. It's hard to know what is the right thing to do. On one hand, there is a church that has been in the area for two and a half years, has a steady membership, and is in a a part of the city without another PCA church. On the other hand, the membership has been slightly declining, the church meets at the YMCA, the budget could be in better shape, and the pastor just announced he was leaving. It's my hope that the members will be able to spend the next two weeks before the vote on these issues to get any of the emotional "oh you can't go" type of thoughts out of their system so they can make a good decision about where to go next. Personally, I'm not sure what the right answer is yet.

Part of my indecision has to do with the direction the church has taken since it was founded. Part of the reason for starting the church was to have a ministry of the PCA in downtown Raleigh. Now, the church has consistently been in downtown Raleigh, but I'm not sure the ministry has every really been effective. In the beginning, the church tried to do a lot of things, but didn't do them very intelligently. I won't go into specifics, since we hadn't moved here yet when it was going on, but I can talk a little about the church now. Now, there isn't a whole lot going on that is specifically downtown, other than the location where we meet. Almost everyone who goes to the church lives really far away from the church. We're five or so miles away, and we're some of the closest. A lot of the people there live way up in north Raleigh, which isn't anywhere near or anything like downtown. It will be interesting to see how the meeting in two weeks turns out.

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