Previous posts from our host, Eduardo, have told the tales of how often a church can be a battle ground far uglier than, say, the politics of the Ukraine. That may be an exaggeration, but I know myself I have come away from voting meetings with feelings sufficient to bring thoughts of suicide. I honestly believe I understand the depth of sorrow experienced by Elijah when he fled Jezebel for the Sinai.
Even when such things do not happen, it is conspicuous for the difference. With such emotional scar tissue, I catch myself thinking, “I better not do that without submitting it for a vote.” This, when it’s merely a matter of moving some furniture in the church-house. This past week, the pastor and I sat in class (no one showed up for Sunday School) and discussed how we would have laid out the auditorium differently. We strode in where we could look at it and discuss the possibilities. It included such things as cutting the platform down to a smaller size, putting the pulpit on the floor, and sliding the outside ends of the pews around so the congregation would all sit at a slight angle facing directly toward the pulpit.
Upon mention of such things to the members who finally began to arrive, they determined it would be done. No vote, no arguments, just “Let’s do it!” That evening, instead of our usual inspirational video, we spent three hours moving the pews and bolting them back down, peeling back the carpet from the platform and cutting it down, moving several other items closer to the walls, etc. When finished, we were quite impressed with what we felt were genuine improvements.
When the members arrived for the next Sunday morning, quite a few came who had missed the previous Sunday. They said almost nothing about the new layout, except a few “How nice!” type comments. With so few feathers ruffled, it only served to remind me how seldom it was this easy. Thanks be to God for calling to serve such a sensible congregation!