I know, I still haven’t blogged about work, you know, my OLD work, formerly known as ‘proper job’. Truth is, the further I get away from it the less it matters.
I’ll simply say that I had wanted, very specifically, to leave well because there are any number of former employees of the church who have reason to be anti ‘church as a workplace’ (or maybe just anti ‘our church’) and who left, burning their bridges behind them and now feel unable/unwilling to even attend services there. On the other hand there are those who managed to disentangle themselves from the staff without actually burning those bridges and who, while aware of the church’s faults, remain in fellowship (ergh, Christianese, sorry) there.
I’m happy to count myself in the latter. It was a battle hard won as my last week at work was impossibly difficult and made me particularly glad I had written my leaving speech well in advance. My emotional state when it was delivered was such the speech around the tears meant that were parts of it I wasn’t sure I still believed. However, I do believe it was possible to leave well because of a conscious choice I made years ago to separate my service to God from the business of other people’s service.
People come and go in the name of God in any church and quite frankly, they bring with them all manner of f*cked-upness. All the while, God loves and accepts their service same as He did mine with all my f*ckedup-ness. At the end of the day, us God-botherers are called to represent Christ in the world so that others may see Him in us and may choose to follow Him too. The thing is, we bugger it up all the time and some of us even end up giving Christ a bad name. So, in work, as in life, it’s my hope that in some small way I give Him a good name by living a life of integrity walking the walk that goes with the talk… so leaving the staff well was about more than not burning my bridges, it was also about doing ‘what Jesus would do’ (and no, I don’t wear the bracelets or have a WWJD tattoo, no, really…). Realistically, there are a bunch of people on staff in every church in the world who probably give Christ a bad name to each of their colleagues at different times, they’re human after all, I’ve no illusions that our church is any different.
Anyway, here I am, a month later, and the book is closed. I’ve finished up all the little jobs I’d left to deal with when I came home from NZ and while I still have the work-supplied Mac, I’m happy that it will be handed back in the next few weeks when I take delivery of one of the older machines that’s just about to go off its lease. Now here I am content to be a regular tutor for the students (my favourite role last year), voluntary staff photographer and committed attender. Which, really, is just perfect for a year which will be dominated by study and assignments.
I think the conclusion that I’ve come to is that I’m called to follow Christ and while I’ve heard all manner of preaching over the years concerning ones call to one church, one leader, I’m not so ‘sheepish’ as to buy it all hook line and sinker. I’ll go where I believe I’m meant to be, and for now, whether or not it remains true in the future, I’ll stay where I am, believing that for a time I was paid staff which benefitted both me and my church but for 2009 I’m moving forward into whatever new thing God and/or Life has in store.
I couldn’t be more excited.