Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Growing Pains & Dealing with Loss

I've noticed that whenever I find myself frustrated/angry that it's often during a time of transition. Things in my environment have shifted and I need to make changes. The problem is that I don't always recognize the changes. I just feel the frustration and want a quick fix.

For example, there have been a variety of communication breakdowns among ministry leaders over the last month at Cedarbrook. At first I was tempted to just see it as mistakes that people were making. But it's more than that. I think Cedarbrook hit the tipping point in communication. The system that got us this far has finally revealed its weakness. It's insufficient. In other words, it's not the individuals who are at fault as much as the system that we have in place.

My frustration has become a red flag to me if I am alert enough to see it. I have to step back and ask, "Is there a change/transition in process that's causing me to feel this way?" Any change implies a loss. What was is no longer. A simple email or touching base with someone on Sunday doesn't get the same response that it did in the early days of the church. That's a loss. Life is more complex requiring more attention on my part. That too is a loss. I have a choice (as we all do in these moments of transition), I can remain angry/frustrated and hope that current problems merely blow over and get better on their own, or I can address the systemic problems to alleviate future breakdowns. It takes time and effort, but in the long run it's what enables us to grow and reach more people for Christ.

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