Since stepping out of structured church we have noticed many things that we took for granted about being in a church. When a church is functioning well, there is a great sense of community and purpose, as well as a wonderful sense of belonging and knowing that there is a large group of people who will help and support you when needed. There is also a trusting in the Elders to tell you which way the church is going and what the plans are for the year ahead. These are things that when you are in church, and maybe have been all your life, you may well take as a given.
This is our first New Year not having our year mapped out for us, we dont have any lists of dates of House Group Leaders meetings, or Weekends Away or prayer meetings etc. Our year is wide open!!! It is a very strange time for us but also very invigorating as well! There is a great freedom in seeing an empty year ahead and watching and waiting to see what God is going to do and being ready to move when there is some clarity. I can't say we have a lot of clarity at the moment but from what other people are saying who are in a similar situation, this isnt unusual. Structured church has a wide path and a clear heading, you follow or go with flow, depending on what sort of person you are, and that's great. We feel we are on a much smaller path with lots of corners and no clear view, but as we take each step along the path, things seem to fall in to place around us. I sometimes get a glimpse of what it is we are going to be doing, but it is always just outside my peripheral vision and when I try to look directly at it, it just seems to disappear. I know it is to do with new church, and community and breaking down old ideas but as to how this is going to look or be like, we don't really know. We will just keep doing what we are doing until God moves us round the next corner and we see the next little bit of the path before us. But until then our calender is wide open, and that is a wonderful thing to behold!