what if it takes ten years?
"Think about it. The people in this community will need to die before they let go."
I sat across the table from the leaders of this little congregation, and it dawned on me that they have resigned themselves to death.
Caught in the atrophy of their own decline.
A milieu of disappointment, hurt and pride - with the odd remembrance of health two decades ago to buoy their spirits.
I've been wondering. What's wrong with this picture?
"They aren't willing to change with the times."
"They never raised up leaders."
"Someone never relinquished control."
There are many things wrong with this picture. But the one thing that seems to permeate through it all is an assumption that still drives them: that the church is (or should be) at the centre of influence in our culture.
But the church isn't at the centre.
When this assumption is realised to be untrue, and the people who follow Jesus (the church) reposition their hearts and activity at the margins, this is where the new life that is everlasting will begin to sprout.
Sometimes it takes death before new life can sprout.
It might take ten years for something to die.
Sometimes it takes longer.
Is it worth the wait?
Is there something we can plant in the meantime?