“Sometimes it’s good to look back down-we’ve come so far, we’ve gained such ground…” (Petra, Road to Zion)
Right now my journey through life has led me to one of those in-between places where just about everything is up in the air. I find myself waiting on the Lord for a number of things, the main one being which direction now to take with the church life. You may recall me referring many times in the past to the gathering of which I was, until recently, a part. Imagine me saying that word “was” while breathing a heavy sigh of disappointment. Time and circumstance have led to the dissolution of our little assembly, mainly because the majority of those once gathering have now moved away to another town.
Our meeting began almost four years ago when another couple-friends of ours from college-moved down from Wisconsin. Their sole purpose in coming was to pursue fellowship with the Lord together. We had high expectations back in those days that the church life would just explode overnight as soon as we began to assemble. Boy, were we wrong! For nearly two years it was just the four of us coming together, being joined from time to time only by my parents. We did receive quite a few visits from many friends and family from out of town, but on the local level we found it nearly impossible to stir any interest.
Then at last, about two years ago, we were joined by another couple. From then on we began to make contact with other saints, some who would stop by for an occasional visit and others who would meet regularly with us for a time but then stop coming around for whatever reason. We also ran across another group of brothers who had been meeting for prayer and fellowship on their own for quite some time, and for a while we tried to blend the two gatherings together, criss-crossing each other’s meetings in the process (although many positive relationships came out of this venture, the merger itself did not work out). Then just over a year ago my brother-in-law and his family moved down from Canada, and in the past year we established contact and enjoyed fellowship with a number of churches all across the state of Ohio and beyond. Heck, we even came to the point of receiving regular visits from a brother whose function is akin to what many in the organic church world would call a “church planter” or “worker.” For a while it seemed we had all the elements in place.
Alas, however, in our case the old adage came to pass that “all good things must come to an end.” One couple moved, then another, and others who were meeting with us decided to pursue other courses, and now there is nothing in the way of a visible gathering left to show. Cue the sad music. Not really. 🙂
Anyway, I share this bit of history with you in order to show what I mean by saying that my family and I are in a time of transition. Also, I wish to set the stage for some future posts in which I will share a little of my own experience from the past three years of living in a local, organic church life. Albeit small, the journey I took with these brothers and sisters was nonetheless real, and perhaps some reflection on the way will not only do me some good but you as well.