26 October, 2006

Things we THINK we Know

I was privileged to spend the first half of this week with a small group of my fellow Church of God pastors this week for a "conference" of sorts. I really did not even understand what I was going to, and honestly went to it very reluctantly and admittedly with a pre-determined attitude that I was going just because my Administrative Bishop wanted me to. In my mind, I figured I would go because he wanted me to and then bow out of any further commitment, which he had already stated that I could do. I told my wife before leaving that I really did not want to go. When I arrived and saw some of the men who were chosen to be a part of this venture along with me, my resolve was further strengthened. There were men there with whom I had encountered previous difficulties over the years. There was some who had hurt me in years past, and some that I just did not know well, because I had chosen not to get to know them, because my first impression was that I did not like them. I had carried "baggage" around for years (in some cases) because of these guys, and NO WAY was I going to commit to doing anything with them.

As we began the meetings, still not knowing exactly what they were asking us to do, I learned that they were asking us to form a covenant group with these guys, where we would open ourselves up to them (and vice-versa) and pray and share for 10 months. I'm thinking again, NO WAY am I opening myself up to some of these folks. I even expressed to the facilitator of the meeting that I had a hard time trusting follks. I didn't spell out that it was some of these men, but I think folks knew it. Others shared similar feelings, and I'm thinking to myself, "another failed program." But suddenly things in that room began to change. The dynamics changed. The atmosphere changed. The Holy Spirit was beginning to breathe into that small group, and hurts and feelings were shared and we began to see into the hearts of one another, and to my shock... most of these guys were just like me. Oh, different situations and cultures, but same hurts, same insecurities, same questions about self and our ministries. God did something in that room over the course of a couple of hours that man could not have done in years. Things changed. I changed! Before this 3 day meeting was over I had formulated a whole new way of looking at every single man in that group... including myself. A bond was formed and a covenant made that I am both humbled and proud to be a part of. I am so glad that Bishop Stovall worked so hard to get me to agree to become a part of this. And I am thankful to God that it was this particular group of men that were selected to be there, because this needed to happen between us. I believe that there will be some great and wonderful things come from this group and for the Church of God in Illinois, but most of all, there is going to be some powerful changes in me through this.

Funny how we THINK we know something about someone, when the reality just may be that the problem lies not so much with them, but within our own self.


6 comments:

ruthrap said...

admire your honesty and ain't it amazin' how The Holy Spirit can perform attitude adjustments!!! we could all use an attitude adjustment occasionally! thanks for sharing yours!

Amy said...

your tetemony last night of this touched me so much, i got tears.this is what karin and i and our prayer group has been praying for so long, for the unity of the pastors and the body of christ to come & its hear!! amen!!. GOD is so amazingly AWESOME!!!!

Sean McKee said...

The Devil losses again!

rick said...

I felt as you did. Thanks for attending the meeting. I look forward to the whole covenant group thingy....

rick said...

I felt the same way too. Thanks for attending, Dawg. I'm looking forward to the whole covenant thingy do process.

Deborha's Palm Tree said...

God is answering prayer pastor!
For sure!