Reflections of a Church Planting Intern: Week 6

Truth be told, I didn’t want to write this blog. Not because of some sort of rebellious attitude or because I’m sick of this blog. Well, there is a small part of me that lacks discipline and so both cold be partially true. But I struggled to find stuff I wanted to write about. But I forced myself to go and here’s what I’ve got for you…

As you can tell from previous posts I encounter a lot of stuff during the week or I think about a lot of stuff. This week was a lot of stress and it stemmed mostly from the fact that I had been tasked to manage getting everything ready for the Gretna Days parade that is coming up in a few weeks. I hadn’t endured stress like that since the least school year. I know it doesn’t sound like something that would cause a lot of stress but it was killing me for a while. I didn’t think I could handle getting the float together because I’m really not that great at creating things that are visually appealing. I also freaked out because I didn’t, and still don’t, know if I will have enough people to pull off what I want to during the parade. I was really freaking out at one point to where I said I didn’t really want to be in charge of it anymore.

But I feel better now.

I talked to my parents who were in charge of doing this last year and they gave me some really good ideas. I’ve since had these ideas implemented and the float will be done in the next few days or so. As far as the people, well… I guess I’ve heard it enough times this week from enough people that I really just trust God will provide enough people if this is what he wants to have happen. And who knows? Maybe something crazy and unexpected will happen. I apologize now for being vague but this particular idea must be kept quiet lest the surprise be ruined. You’ll just have to be there if you don’t intend on being a part of it.

So, I finally finished reading The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggeman. I say “finally” because you have no idea how many times I started and stopped reading that book in lieu of something else. Old Walt can be difficult to read because of his writing style and voice. Sometimes he chooses to use words that I find unnecessary or difficult and I’d get frustrated at the fact that I couldn’t tear through the book like I can when I’m reading a lot of other books. But, after getting into the book again, I really was entranced by his thoughts about many facets of the prophetic ministry. So much so that I presented the information to Ben and we had a pretty long discussion (with the assistance of a marker board) on Brueggeman’s ideas and how we could apply them in our current issues in approaching the culture of Gretna.

There’s no way I can take the time or space to explain the content of this conversation. You can ask me about it sometime if you’re really interested. Or you could go read the book.

What else happened this week…?

I spent a fair amount of time not being home this week. There have just been way too many people and lately it’s felt like I can’t relax when there are 10-15 people in my house taking up the couch, the floor, the basement and wherever else they can stash themselves to hang out here. On one hand I am really thankful that we can be a house where people feel comfortable to come hang out in. But for me the difficulty becomes that, selfishly, I do not like to be around people all day or even most of the day sometimes. And I guess I can’t say that just about my house. I’m around people all day when I work and I have to be around people for this internship. So, there are some days where I am around people for 12-13 hours straight. And, as we’ve learned from past blogs, I do not deal with that well. My mind and body start to tense up and are on edge. To paraphrase Donald Miller I’m like that battery powered drill that needs to be charged for about 24 hours to work for about 10 minutes.

Ok, so I’m exaggerating.

But I sometimes feel like I’m limited by this facet of my personality.

This whole week has been pretty much a blur. Work has been increasingly lame because of how I feel I’m being treated which may or may not reflect how things are actually working. I sometimes wonder if my perception of the environment around me and how things happen are not some how marred by my tendency to see the negative side of my realist (and sometimes more pessimist) bent toward life. And sometimes I have to tell myself it’s just my pride getting in the way. Basically, what has been happening lately is, or at least it feels like, I cannot get anything done right. That, somehow, my knowledge, skill and experience have not been serving me well lately and I’ve been struggling to do my job well. The reality of the situation is that I’m doing about as well as I have ever done but I’m feeling isolated because I get excluded from everything my team does as a whole because of my schedule. It feels like I’m working out in the middle of the ocean on a raft sometimes. Which sounds like something I’d do well at but in my job if I don’t have some sort of affirmation that I belong it’s really hard to see the vision of what the team tries to accomplish. I only get to see the bad side of things which doesn’t do well with my personality and disposition. And I don’t know how to get past that.

Is there anything else?

Ah, yes. I will be going back to York E-Free Church sooner than I had expected. Initially, Jon had told me that it would be about 6 months before he would bring me back. Well, thanks to the providence of God and his use of some communication issues I will be going up there with no support but God to step in front of that congregation along with a visiting group of bikers from the Christian Motorcycle Association. So, I was hoping to do something that was pretty basic and gospel-centered. That sounds pretty easy to throw together isn’t it? I’d been stressing about it since it was confirmed that I’d be going but I then just started praying and really focusing on what I felt would be a good (and hopefully easy) text to bring to these people. I am a little relieved that I have found a text to work from. I’m a little gunshy about the fact that text though.

Habakkuk?

Granted I wrote a 10-15 page paper on this for a class but there’s a lot of content that I can’t or don’t have time to present if I’m going to rip through the entire book in about 30 minutes. I’ve been thinking about it constantly as has proven to be the best way for me to start assembling ideas before, during and even after I’ve finished fleshing out the sermon. So, I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to tackle this yet but I intend on holing up in my office tomorrow for most of the day to get that all straightened out. Your prayers will be much appreciated this week going into the weekend.

Until next time, faithful believers…

Music
P.O.S. – “Never Better”
City & Colour – “Little Hell”
Poison the Well – “Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder”
Poison the Well – “Opposite of December… A Season of Separation”
Poison the Well – “Tear from the Red”
Poison the Well – “You Come Before You”
Poison the Well – “Versions”
Poison the Well – “The Tropical Rot”
Dead of Dawn – “The Ultimate Shakespearian Betrayal”
B. Dolan – “Fallen House, Sunken City”
Derek Webb – “Stockholm Syndrome”
Derek Webb & Sandra McCracken – “TN EP”
Arch Enemy – “Doomsday Machine”
Astronautalis – “The Mighty Ocean & Nine Dark Theaters”
Grieves – “Together/Apart”

Movies
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Blade Trinity
Blazing Saddles

Books
The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann
Jim & Casper Go to Church by Jim Henderson

Bible
Habakkuk
Job

Verse
YHWH, I have heard the report of you, and your work, YHWH, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2 ESV)

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One thought on “Reflections of a Church Planting Intern: Week 6

  1. Hey brother, Chris White preached from Habakkuk last year, so your idea is not as far-fetched as you might think. People are excited about seeing you again.

    It sounds like 217 has become a community, almost a church. Certainly a center of people stuff going on. Imagine if you guys had a mission.

    Oh, and your personality is always going to limit you. And it’s also going to be what God uses. So the gift and the roadblock are a package deal.

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