If you were a regular reader of this blog once upon a time, you probably don’t may remember that I was a member of the Polk City Evangelical Free Church. For reasons I won’t get into today, that church no longer remains. The people of PCEFC have scattered. Many joined another church in town that bought the building, some went to other towns and other churches, some just stopped going altogether. This all happened in conjunction with a very traumatic event in my life and I was uprooted from the support of the local body at the worst possible time.
During this period of turmoil, a man who I had met through the blogosphere (do people still say that?) contacted me to tell me that he had moved into the area and had been visiting a great church in a nearby town. He invited me to visit with his family and I am glad I did.
I met him at Waukee Community Church (WCC) and really enjoyed my time there. Sure, the songs were a bit different and the crowd trended a bit younger than what I was used to, but there was a sense of health that was extremely attractive. And many of the factors that proved to be the downfall of my previous church were either not present or were taken care of as they popped up. I don’t know if the elders have ever read “9 Marks of a Healthy Church” before, but I came to see that this church hits all of the marks. WCC is an imperfect church, to be sure, but it is not for a lack of seeking after God’s will in the life of the church.
To my shame, I attended without joining for far too long. To my greater shame, my attendance was sporadic at best. The reason for that is something else I won’t discuss in a public forum such as this. I did accept what correction the leadership of the church gave me as well as I thought I could, but the dynamic of correction for a “regular visitor” can not compare to the level it reaches once you have bought in to the church as a disciple and member.
Since I have humbled myself to be placed under the watch of the elders of WCC, I have been challenged to do some things that really made me angry. It’s not that I was being asked to do anything wrong. Rather, I was being challenged to do things that were right, but they were things that I didn’t want to do. I had to do them, though, because I am under the watchful eye of the church. I don’t know how else to say that. Besides, there are decisions in my past that I look upon now and see that I should have listened to the advice that was offered to me and can see the carnage that happened because I thought I knew better.
The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who can answer sensibly.
(Proverbs 26:16 ESV)
So, as a part of my life reboot, I have complied with the instructions given to me. I can’t tell you how conflicted I have been during these times, pursuing things that I didn’t want, and having to pursue them wholeheartedly. But when you follow the instructions given to you by the men God has placed over you for your benefit, there is blessing. My initial instruction was obeyed and my attempts failed. But I am so glad today that I tried so hard to get that which I didn’t want. If I hadn’t complied or if I had done so with a negative tone, I would have doubts for the rest of my life.
So I have been replanted. The roots are delving deeper than they had before. I am in a life group and a discipleship group. Both of these provide encouragement and challenge to me, and I need a healthy dose of both. This combination is helping me BLOSM, which is an acronym of our church’s vision. A disciple is one who Believes, Loves, Obeys, Serves and Multiplies. That “O” in the vision sure is tough, but is so rewarding! I thank God for planting me where I am able to BLOSM the way that I am!