Parting Yet The Same Purpose
This past week I made a trip to visit all the disaffiliated churches in my District. It was my final visit to these churches. I met the pastor and one or more leaders. I gave thanks to God, prayed for these congregations, and blessed them on their new journey. It was a humble and awesome moment.
This last visit was to verify that they had removed all the UM signages from the church premises, inside and outside, including directional signs in the street. I said to the leaders of one of the churches that even though we part our way, we all are making the journey to the same destination, and I hope to come across them here and there sometime on the journey if God willing. If not, I hope to see them at the destination. We may go our separate ways, but our destination is the same.
Parting in the life of the church is not new. It happened from the beginning. Paul and Barnabas were colleagues, companions in ministry, but they parted one another when they could not agree on something, or who to take with them on a missionary journey. They ended up each taking a new disciple with them. Paul took Silas with him, and Barnabas took Mark and went their separate ways. Yet, the purpose was the same, even the destination. Their destination was also the same…to reach out to the unchurched communities in the gentile world in their days for Jesus Christ.
It is hard to be separated when you have had a long and meaningful relationship with someone or a partner in ministry or work. Yet, parting is the nature of life. We grieve and we miss them, but what better thing can we do but to bless them and wish them the best. Thereafter, we return and focus on where we are and move on with our tasks. We may or may never remember that relationship again. What is important is that we don’t look back but forward… perhaps to something new or a new beginning.
Let’s not look back but forward on our journey. What are you looking to do and build God’s kingdom after disaffiliation, for this is our business as disciples of Jesus Christ? If you are not sure, one thing we can do is pray. Pray that God will give you the right mind and a vision for the future, in your life and in your church. God bless.