Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Leaf blower

If you are not from Sherwood, or have just never visited, come during the fall, right around this time. Find Sunset Boulevard and head east on a crisp autumn morning when the sun is rising, or head west when it's deeper into the afternoon. If you ever do, you feel like you are stirring a sea of red, yellow, green and orange paint as it swirls around your car from all of the gorgeous trees lining the road for almost two miles.

I like this time of year. I enjoy the crisp, cold air while watching fantastic high school football (Newberg High is okay, and Sherwood High freakin' rocks). I love the sudden transition from summer to fall, and how drastically our moods change. I get stoked thinking about the snow that will soon be falling on Mt. Hood, my birthday (Oct 30th, and I like surprises...), and the opportunity to see most of my family once again for the holiday seasons. Change is always welcome in my life, especially when that stupid summer heat finally goes away :).

Unfortunately, though God is an unchanging God (thank goodness), that does not mean changes will happen to those who follow Him. 
I send this prayer request out to the few who read this blog: Pray for Willowbrook Free Methodist Church of Sherwood, Oregon.
As of right now, six families have left our small church for reasons either God-given, or other reasons I have no clue. Being such a small church, it is a big concern. I guess while growing up at Crossroads, the coming and going of families have not been a major concern of mine since it's so ginormous in the first place. On top of these families' departure, they were mostly people heavily involved in our church, like leadership team, small group leaders, directors, worship leader, food pantry coordinator, etc. 
When this trend started happening several months ago, our pastor and I agreed that this was good for our church, because we believe that Willowbrook is God's church; God's ministry... not ours. And right now, God is doing some major pruning.
I'll tell you this: There is no way I am leaving the church because of the lack of numbers. That's just silly to think about. The only way anyone's gonna pry me away would be either God's calling in my life or God closing Willowbrook's doors. 
I pray that the faithfulness of Willowbrook's remaining attendees stands firm in God, and that their trust is in Him and Him alone. I pray that we do not lose heart in these troubled times. I'm willing to bet that there are going to be some major sacrifices coming soon, and that some people might not like it. I pray that when those sacrifices do come, that we lean more on God's understanding and not our own. 
Pray that during this season of change, just as the colors on Sunset Blvd, that we see the end of the road, and ask God for guidance.
I urge you, my brethren in Christ, to pray for not only Willowbrook, but your ministry as well. Pray that God will constantly remind you that the ministry you are in is not yours. 

1 comment:

Cameron Wyenberg said...

Being the son of a pastor who had two church doors close, I can understand a bit how this feels. When families would leave either for God's calling (moving out of the town) or for other reasons you always feel the impact. Such a big change is felt. I'll be praying for you Win, praying that Willowbrook would stay open and become stronger, connected, communal.