So yeah, always be careful what you ask for. As most of you know I am heading "home" this weekend for my master's graduation at IWU. I have been planning on attending Good Shepherd (my old church) ever since I knew I was heading up there. Earlier this week I joked with the church secretary who is a dear friend of mine and told her that I would be willing to speak if their pastor needed a Sunday off. I didn't expect it to happen, but it did, so I will be speaking there this Sunday.
Any other time I would be overjoyed at the chance to share at this church. After all, I invested 4 years of my life there and I am still close with several of the people who attend there. I am struggling though with where to go with my message as there is alot going on there right now. Just to let you know here is the rundown. The senior pastor who took my old boss's place was voted out the last part of March. Since that time there has been a significant amount of tension among the members there. Having been a pastor there I am very nervous because of all the tension there and I do not want me asking to speak to be misinterpreted by the outgoing pastor as my way of unofficially "candidating" there-which could in turn be misinterpreted as me trying to get him ousted in the first place. Does this make sense? I support him, and honestly I am not sure the church made the best decision in the first place by voting him out, but now I have to walk into it.
Please pray that God will give me the words to say and that I will be very cautious in the way that I share. I am leaning toward talking about what the church needs to do in the world today instead of talking about healing and moving forward after what has happened, but I am pretty sure that avoiding the subject completely would be like trying to avoid a giant pink elephant in the room. I am just not sure where to go, I am honored by the chance to share, but I am scared to death as well. I still believe that God has awesome plans for this church and I want to add to that-not take away from it by feeding the tension that is there right now.
Thanks for your prayers!