I told a friend this morning I was heading to a lunch meeting with the conference director of church plants. My friend asked if the director was promoting the Trenton Hyacinth.*
No, not that kind of church plant.
You may remember from earlier in the year that Brent and I are committing to a new church plant called Catalyst. I can almost say the name now with a straight face. Almost. Anyway, we continue to prepare for our first service which will be in October. We will have one service a month for the rest of the year until January when we start weekly.
We were supposed to have a lovely parent/child relationship with the church we are leaving. Many new churches are started because some people got mad and a church actually split. This was supposed to be a sign of health in our parent church. The parent church gladly sent a few on their way to start anew.
For the most part it has worked out that way. Most people are very friendly about it. Most people are very encouraging. Some aren't. Brent and I have not personally been approached to be talked out of leaving, but others in our group have. (Maybe people are glad to see us go!) I have been called traitor in an "I'm kidding . . . but not really" way.
We are hearing tales now that the parent church is kicking us out of the nest in ways we had not yet expected. It's a little sad. A little disappointing.
On the first Sunday we went to parent church 13 years ago, we walked into a gleaming white sanctuary with a fabulous piano player playing under Lawrence Welk chandeliers. It was a warm and welcoming family. Over 13 years it has grown to 900 people a Sunday in a new "worship center" instead of a sanctuary. This fall they are remodeling the old sanctuary and the Lawrence Welk chandeliers are coming down.
Even if I wanted to stay at the parent church, it is no longer the church I arrived at 13 years ago. I am not the same either -- but I am experiencing some grief over what was.
It's like a kid going off to college. It's the right thing for the kid to do. It's time for her to go off on her own. Even if she stayed it wouldn't be the same.
But you feel a little sad.
*I figured he was talking about a flower, but the Trenton Hyacinth is an AIDS foundation. Gardener friends and loved ones, you'll have to tell me if it is also a bulb. This particular friend is just that way and may have been teasing me more than I knew at that moment.