In the above linked post from a few weeks ago, I wrote about our elders publishing a document for us as a church, which laid out some basic beliefs for us as a congregation. At the time, I admitted that I was less than thrilled with the idea of such a document, but that I was trying to refrain from forming an opinion about it, as I had not yet had the opportunity to read it.
Since then, I have had the opportunity to study it (click here) and I was even recently able to listen to a recording of that Sunday night service, in which our elders spoke about this document and its purpose (click here).
I will now confess that I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I don't have a problem with anything that it says, although I feel some of the wording was left to be a little bit vague. In listening to what our shepherds had to say, I was encouraged by their leadership, and I believe that this will be a useful document in some situations. I still just am not sure I like the idea completely.
I'm not trying to be critical, just analytical. (That is why I've posted links, for you to go read and listen for yourself, and form your own opinion, if you so desire.) In fact, rather than being critical, if anything, I am grateful to our shepherds for the leadership with which they guide and teach our congregation, especially at this time. Our congregation at PV is in the process of making some changes in the near future, and this is causing concern among many of our brothers and sisters. So in dealing with this, our elders have overflown with patience, love and care in addressing these concerns, in an open manner. If I am not mistaken, the night that the "Faith & Values" document was handed out, they encouraged our members to bring them any questions or concerns they may have. Then last Sunday night, they took some time to stand before the congregation and, with love and encouragement, answer the questions and address the concerns. The reason I post this information is in an effort to be fair and allow you to have a clearer picture of this document and of what is going on at my home congregation.
In my previous post about What We Believe, I also let you all know that I would be working on writing my own, personal statement of faith. However, if you notice, my wording is hesitant..."it may take me awhile," and I "might post it here for you guys to read." I am, indeed working on it, but to be honest, the task seems a little bit overwhelming. There are so many things on my heart that I could write about what I believe; seems the main challenge right now is organizing all my thoughts into something that makes sense. I will also confess that I'm a little nervous about posting it, and even more so after I actually received a comment on that post...that means someone really is out there reading all the stuff I put on here!
When I started blogging (which was actually just a few months ago) I admitted that it was mostly for my own benefit, and that I didn't care too much whether anyone read or not. That's still true, for the most part. It is very encouraging to know that someone is reading, but it is still mostly for my own benefit...makes it easier for me to share more openly. So why am I nervous about posting this up-and-coming statement of my beliefs? Awhile back, a couple of our shepherds were in our Singles class on a Wednesday night, attempting to explain to us their decision to hire a worship minister. That night, one of them said something that has stuck with me. "Christianity is personal, but it is not private." I think that's difficult for me, because I can tend to be a private person sometimes. But he's exactly right, it's not private, it's something we should be able to share. Indeed, this blog is, in a way, an effort of mine to be more open and less private.
Also, in our Singles class, we've recently been studying evangelism, as our Singles minister takes us through some of what he learned from the book, "Just Walk Across The Room," by Bill Hybels. Especially this morning, we discussed being able to, in 100 words or less, share your story. Well, my post on what I believe will most certainly not be 100 words or less, but I hope that as I am writing it, drawing on both scriptures and my experiences with God in my life, that my story will be evident through my faith and beliefs that I lay out for you all to see. So I am telling you now, with certainty, that I will, indeed, post "What I Believe" for you all to read....like Jesus, it is coming...and soon...