I find myself recently traversing the fine line between faith and foolishness. When is a decision a bold act of faith and when is it a big mistake?
The Parish House Task Force has offered a proposal to renovate the church house to be used for a ministry of spiritual development under the leadership of Pastor Dale Selover. Spiritual development is a growing movement within the church that seeks to draws people into a closer relationship with God through spiritual direction, contemplative practices, and spiritual renewal.
The Church Council supports the ministry. Not only will it serve the people of Prince of Peace, but a ministry of spiritual development will be an outreach to our immediate community. It will also allow Prince of Peace to be a resource to our New Jersey Synod and to our ecumenical partners in our community. This ministry also offers a new model of how to be the church in a changing landscape. The church house can make all of this happen.
But, as we know, there is a cost. And this is where I ask if the decision to go ahead is foolish or faithful.
I answer the question reminding myself that the church is in the faith business, not the fear business. I’m convinced the church has been in decline through the years because we’ve been afraid to step out in faith. Whenever the church seeks to hunker down and hold on to what it has, the church has made the decision not to respond to opportunities God has placed before her; and that is never a good, or faithful, place for the church to be.
Is this the right time to renovate the church house for a spiritual development ministry? Are we making financial choices that could jeopardize an already fragile financial picture? Or is God inviting us to take a step into new life?
I appreciate the financial concerns that come with this decision. But I know that mission never follows money. Money follows mission. In other words, when the church lives by faith and responds to opportunities that God places before us, people want to support the church’s ministry, and the money follows.
On May 31, before worship, Pastor Selover will be leading a session on her ministry of spiritual development , how the church house can benefit that work, and how Prince of Peace can partner in this ministry. Following worship we encourage the congregation to walk over to the house for a tour and to share your questions and concerns with the task force. The congregational meeting is scheduled for June 7th following worship.