10 Years Since Narrowly Escaping Death: Church Split
Ten years ago today this church split. It happened on a Sunday. I walked blindly into an ambush of grand proportions. People who had planned and prepared to overthrow this church's leadership had everything ready. I didn't even notice, I was so distraught, but there was a video camera set up at the back and microphones poised to record the whole take-down. Yes, the entire fiasco is on video-tape. Certain people were ready with adversarial challenges. One of the ring-leading women came up and took the mic from my hands and wouldn't return it. Another man came up and helped her steer the service in their direction. They would challenge me with their demands while their friends and family would stand and cheer and clap and shout out their defiance. With the entire leadership team beside me (minus a significant and influential one), as well as Lisa, we finally and fearfully said a firm no, knowing full well what cost it was going to extract from our church and our very souls! There was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Chairs crashed and flew. Yelling, screaming, crying. Children hid their faces and visitors gaped in stupefied wonder. This can't be happening! But it was. That Sunday initiated a split in our church that swiftly and brutally tore half of our community away. Over the next two years we gradually and painfully lost another half again. I thought many times that we weren't going to make it, that our death knell had surely tolled. Continually it was predicted and prophesied that we would surely shrivel up and die under the curse of Satan and the absence of the Spirit and the judgment of the Lord. But here we are, ten years later, still standing. I wouldn't want to go through it again. But I wouldn't want to go back to the way we were before. May I dare say we are better for it? So congratulate us. God be praised, this community deserves it. The painting is the creation of my friend Tina Newlove.