Per the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene, it was time for my first ever review with my DS and the TFC Church Board. Though I really had no reason to be so, I was kind of nervous about the review. I was mostly nervous because I noticed some questions on the survey that the board filled out regarding COTN administrative stuff that I wasn't doing. Of course, that was no big deal. As usual, my DS Jeren Rowell is much more concerned about how our local church is trying to live faithfully to the gospel than whether or not we're fulfilling certain COTN-specific details. In fact, he helped rewrite the manual's pastoral description, making the admin stuff way less important than the biblically instructed stuff for pastors.
Anyway, it was a great time last night. We shared our excitement over where the church is headed, shared some ideas for helping us focus better on our missional changes, went through an honest health assessment for our church (based upon Acts 2) and spent time praying together. There was a time in which Erin and I were sent from the room so they could vote on whether or not to keep me on as pastor. When we came back in, Jeren told us the vote was completely affirmative, that the board loves us and wants us to stay on as their pastors and those sentiments were confirmed by some tears I saw in some eyes. We sat in that room feeling very encouraged, grateful to be pastoring this church, excited to be on this journey with them and very, very loved.
There are some health indicators that need to be addressed, such as making prayer a more integral part of our community life. Our small-ish size, according to Jeren, puts us in the "enviable position" of being able to build strong consensus to make the missional changes we're making.
These are really, really good days for TFC. From Sunday's amazing time of worship together to the discipleship and missional changes we're making - these are some enjoyable, peaceful and productive days at TFC. Man, it's so good to be able to write those words!