This week our church announced budget cuts, reductions in hours and layoffs.
The past couple of weeks as I have thought through every scenario... if this person goes, it means... if that person goes it means... the things you would imagine.
But,if I am honest, for a moment, here and there, I also allowed myself to wonder if I was laid off (which I wasn't) where would I go to church?
Now for most people... this is probably not such a big deal,normal people get to do this all the time... but not church staff people,at least not me. This particular idea... it's not something i have really even allowed myself to wrestle with since coming to church at Sunset nearly 10 years ago.
When we first came to Sunset, it was to find a place where our kids would plug in, I joke that i didn't like the Pastor's robe and reading from the transcript communication style, the first Sunday... he taught on worship and how we aren't gathering together to critique the show or the message. I was challenged and hit square between the eyes. I didn't plug in immediately but man, i cried in worship... regularly. The Spirit was alive and moving in me when I was worshipping there. It was unlike anything I had experienced before and our family then, dug in.
We dug in to ministry, Mike first, playing for student ministry, our kids plugged in to Children's and Student ministry and then finally i began to sing in the choir. Reluctantly.
During that time I was working through a challenge and honestly felt like I had no potential for ministry, I originally spent the first bit of time feeling very lonely and private in my worship life and the juxtaposition of sitting in a large church was chaotic for me. Then, God rescued me by restoring me through the ministry of the church at Sunset. As i dove in to ministry more, by volunteering in the office, and then eventually taking a staff position as an admin I felt God's work and direction in my life in a way I had not felt before. I was submitting and surrendering to His will and he was challenging me and allowing me to use my gifts in a way that I could see made a difference, had impact and brought me to life.
Our family continued to grow in their faith and had opportunities to serve at Sunset. As a family, student ministries and camp is a dear part of the Fraser story, individually the relationships that I have built, the way I have been both challenged and released to grow, allowed to fail and given the opportunity to have impact through my work at Sunset. priceless.
So, as I imagined being laid off and wrestling with the question of would Sunset continue to be our church I realized, again, that for me... church is about being in a community where I can be challenged to grow to be more like Jesus and can be positioned to have an impact for him. So as I released my grip on my job, fell in love again with the opportunity to serve him at Sunset, the word came that I am still here. And... as difficult and challenging as the past few weeks have been, I am sincerely grateful for the journey and the opportunity to continue to serve him in this community.