Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Building vs. Planting

Sitting in Joe's Pizza and Subs in Nokesville and updating my weblog.

As I wrote earlier this morning, I have been thinking further on the organic vs. the non-organic. I am beginning to realize that I have lived with an ongoing, low-level frustration for most of my adult life. I think this is because I have not been hugely successful in building things.

1) House of Bread/New Life Community Church: In the early 70's, when the discipleship movement got under way, our focus was on building a church expression around the idea of authority and accountability. That movement did not succeed as envisioned.

2) The Fairfax County Water Authority: In that same time period career-wise, I found myself in a dead-end job situation, as a white male, sitting at the threshold of the age of minority advancement. Passed over for several possible promotions, my attempt to build a career at the Water Authority fizzled and I bailed out, moving into Real Estate sales.

3) Real Estate Sales: My attempts to build a career in Real Estate met with marginal success, due in part to the unpredictability of the marketplace, and in part to my own lack of discipline. Let's face it, I am more of an artist than a businessman.

4) Manassas Christian Fellowship: Our stint at the next church of our choice led to more frustration as I attempted to lead others into a deeper understanding of doctrine and worship. But as a sheep, I could not achieve very much.

5) Cornerstone Presbyterian Church: I had hoped to build something here. But, once again, my efforts fizzled because the Church was not the right fit for us.

6) Bloodlines: At last I thought that just maybe I could build on the semi-success of this book being published. But alas, it turned out to be a one-shot deal.

7) New Covenant Fellowship: This church, at first a resting place for my weary soul, soon became another major source of frustration because the leaders did so little with what they had. And again, my small-time role as a sheep kept me locked out of any building activities. Probably a good thing.

8) Reconciliation Press (RP): My efforts with John at RP have been marginal, although we began strong, building a small collection of titles. The company still exists, and may one day blossom into something more. But building-wise, we just do not have the time or financial resources to make much more happen.

9) CP&P/Hanson: This has been an odd deal, working with Hanson. I am such a small-potatoes guy here, even though I work hard and generate several million dollars worth of business a year. But as far as building anything of value? No. I am working for the "Mammon-Beast."

10) New Life Community Church # 2: Ah, at last, perhaps, one final opportunity to get it right church-wise. But again, no! While I am working hard, attempting to build something lasting in the way of Adult Ed, the two pastors are duking it out in the back room.

So, what then is the answer? Maybe I'm not meant to build. I guess I will try to not worry so much about building anymore, and just learn contentment in planting. This seems to be what the Lord is saying to me right now.


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