Monday, February 12, 2007

Church battles

Yesterday was a long day. Very long.

We actually got up and made it to church in time for Sunday School, followed by worship service. The church served lunch, although we went out for lunch - I'm craving control over my food after travelling for a week. While in DC, I had Lebanese food for dinner one night and Afghani food another night, and while both dinners were good, I really wanted something nice and normal, and that I picked out! After lunch, there was an annual congregational meeting at church that lasted until 3pm.

Our church is having a huge debate about spending $130k (an after-effect of just spending a couple million on a new sanctuary building). Basically, we are not contractually obligated to pay the 130k, but it seems like the "higher road" to take in some debates we're having with the contractor. The elders have voted that we should pay it, and we won't need to pay interest on it or anything. I love that they took this approach. A church shouldn't waste God's money, we need be good stewards, but we shouldn't hang on to it too tightly either. The meeting got really ugly. People were horrible. People are vaguely hinting about leaving.

We're a bit shocked. This is $130k out of more than 2 million. Really, this is small in comparison. Also, we have an elder-led church, and I'm surprised at how easily it has been for congregants to fight meanly against our leadership when we don't like what they have to say.

Our church is almost always wonderful, loving, gentle, etc... and the only two times that I've seen people act otherwise are both regarding money issues. It's sad, and gives me something to pray about for my church.

We cancelled our church small-group meeting in the evening. After two hours of church argument, we were all exhausted. Today, I'm tired and disappointed.


Keziah said...

Sorry to hear about that. It sounds like your elders decided on the best option and what will hopefully be the better witness. I think people should be free to voice their disagreement, but now that the decision has made, should now be submissive to the elders rather than make threats of leaving. It's perhaps the same where there are disagreements within a marriage?

kel said...

Kezia - Thanks for the kind thoughts. I do think it's interesting... I think fighting against submission is a sin that comes up in so many areas of life. We fight against submitting to our church leaders, to our husbands, to God. It makes me sad, but I do think it's powerful to see the patterns. =)