Friday, August 11, 2006

Looking Ahead

This weekend Pastor Bill West will be speaking on Following God When Life is Confusing. Very timely.

Last weekend's service was one of the most worshipful times I've ever experienced, but probably the most touching portion for me was not any of the songs, but Lionel's reading from Psalm 139, one of my favorites. The theme of that psalm is that there's nowhere you can go where God isn't.

God is present even in our confusion. It's hard to always follow God in such times, but God is always following us.

If you are confused or lost, please know that there's no such thing as too far gone. God isn't contained in one man, one building, one church. Taking any of those parts out of the equation doesn't take God out of it. There's no justification for despair or hopelessness right now; they might be understandable, but they are not justified. Heck, in God's business, even dead ain't dead.

I look forward to seeing you this weekend. Let's come ready to worship, to hear from God. Let's come looking forward to looking forward.

Peace.

12 Comments:

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog...and really respect your positive spirit. I don't think BCC will ever recover from this...I'm of the opinion that the congregation will either divide...or completely destroy itself from the inside out...in my estimation it already has.

That being said...I'm looking for a new church home. The thought of stepping inside BCC again without its founding pastor at the helm makes me sick. The folks over there really have no clue what they're doing. The church has shamed itself and driven away more seekers than it could possibly know. It's so unfortunate as well...because I knew a lot of people who were desperate, and felt safe at BCC. Unfortunately this church has done nothing more than embarass itself in a circus of mismanaged political garbage.

I will continue reading your blog though...it is certainly insightful.

Very best to you and thanks for reading.

 
At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Respond....Respond to Anonymous misguided. All I have to say is the remaining 1200 or so people that decided that BCC IS worth it will be glad to welcome cynics like you back to prove God IS IN CONTROL and that the chuch is about the people not the speaker...and also your statement of "The folks over there really have no clue what they're doing." has no place without factual basis or a point of reference or the fact that you DON'T work for BCC and have no information from which to take that stand. You obviously didn't go to a cottage meeting, have no tolerance for change, and are sworn to go to a chuch that is personality driven. ALSO..BTW Foster didn't found the church officially. He was the 3rd pastor in line when the church started in 1988(which was then called CBC). Here endeth the rant...I hope to see you this weekend.

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Jared said...

Anonymous: Wow. I'm sort of confused as to how you could find this site insightful yet come to such stark disagreement with its consisent stance -- that the elders made the right decision, that the founding pastor was unfit to continue in his position, and that our church does lots of things right.

I'm sorry that you won't be able to step foot inside the church again, but I assure you the folks who work and serve there know what they're doing. You didn't think the entire place was held together by Dr. Foster, did you? What about the hundreds of staff and volunteers who make the place "go" week in and week out?

The church has not shamed itself, in my view. It has taken a stance for the gospel by bringing grace to victims of abuse and by acknowledging that the church cannot be led by an unfit leader. They knew the decision would be unpopular. If this move drives away seekers, then I wonder what those seekers were really seeking -- Jesus? Or an entertaining speaker?

It's no sin to deprive people of something they don't need.
And just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it cannot be understood. Or isn't right.

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. I do appreciate them. I hope you will continue reading and seeing that there are still people at BCC who "get it," and that any church that cannot survive without one person was never a church to begin with.

Peace

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Jared said...

Oops. My comment was to the first Anonymous, not the second, who was apparently posting while I was still composing my comment.

All you Anonymouses need to come up with some nicknames! ;-)

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Joy said...

I am going to try on patience (thanks, Jared, for the reminder) when I respond to the first anon. comment on this post.

I have been attending BCC for 2.5 years. At first I was delighted with Dr. Foster. Then as I came to know the staff and many of the volunteers I was amazed by such a dynamic organization. It always exceeded my expectations.

This story is from my very limited by only face to face experience with Dr. Foster (which says something that I have only had one experience). I was working on the first Habitat build when we built Tonya's home. I was overwhelmed with joy when I saw so many volunteers from BCC on site. So many in fact, that we were working on other houses, not just the one assigned. Everyone was working so hard (Randy Thompson included by the way). While I was painting, I heard that Dave Foster was stopping by. I was excited to see the pastor at our new church in person vs. on stage.

Well, boy, was I disappointed. Foster came on the scene as though he was a dignitary with an advance man in front of him (not sure who this was - I was still new at the church) paving the way. Foster peeked in the rooms, didn't say much to the many volunteers working hard and then he was gone. Maybe he stayed around and I didn't see him, maybe he had more important things to do that day. But I little cheerleading would have been nice or he could have passed out some water for 10 minutes. My image of him changed that day and I realized that he was a human being with an ego just like the rest of us.

I have since built relationships with other pastors at the church (they are in the atrium every Sunday to greet people). Dennis Conniff has performed my wedding ceremoney, baptized myself and my husband and came to the hospital when our child was born.

BCC is far more to me than just one man. I am more inspired now than ever before because I know that BCC will continue to exceed my expectations and help me build my relationship with christ, which is the ulitmate goal.

I feel safer at BCC and feel confident that we will go on and be even stronger as a church body.

Joy

 
At 1:06 PM, Anonymous diane said...

Jared, first thanks for this site. I look forward to your insightful entries each day.

I just wanted to respond to the first Anon and to Joy. I have been attending BCC for nearly 8 years, and I am more passionate than ever before about making our church the great house of God that it can be. There are great churches everywhere in Nashville, some of which I'm sure no longer have their founding pastors...it is possible to flourish without them.

 
At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Wow. Repsonding to the first Anon. I'm on staff and I was completely insulted by the comment that "the people over there have no clue." Geez. Talk about being judgemental. I would just like to ditto something someone else said. That Dr. Foster certainly did not make the church function. While he provided excellent vision, it was the staff that carried out that vision.

That was a prety deep stab. The doors at BCC will always welcome anybody and everybody. Nothing about that will ever change. And I can speak for myself and a few other staff memebers, that we will fight tooth and nail to make sure the mission never changes. That's why we're here. It's what we eat and breathe.

I look forward to the weeks ahead as we heal and then move on to the exciting times ahead.

--Chris

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Jared,
If you woudn't mind e-mailing me please, I'd like to ask you a question "off-blog".

cthomas@hopepark.com

Thanks in advance Jared.

-Chris

 
At 4:33 AM, Blogger Richard said...

I grew up in the evangelical church and I have witnessed the events of the last few weeks (and actually 18 months) before, too often. If I might paraphrase Mark Twin, the death of BCC has been grossly over exaggerated. My understanding is that 200 families, of which my family is a part, give 90% of the funds needed to operate the church. If those folks remain, general attendance numbers are irrelevant to the physical survival of BCC. After attended the Saturday worship service last week, I know the spiritual condition of the church is still strong.
Having said that, if I might be a little rough (call it tough love), those who pack up and leave need to carefully consider going to another church. Conflict is a part of life and if they are unable to work with their brothers and sisters in Christ during this crisis at BCC then, they will have the same problem at another church. I’m not sure it’s fair to another fellowship to have these discontented people take their baggage there.

 
At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Nathan said...

Richard,

Many of them are probably going to take thier discontented baggage and take it to David's unrepentant cast shadow.

I don't want to be blunt either, but I'm processing all this situation and a few things keep popping up...

"It's not in my DNA to not be in charge." ( David Foster )

" I don't want a perfect Pastor..."
(paraphrased- many "voices" )

The call to Ministry isn't about being in control. Also, people being content with a Pastor who is unrepentant and doesn't show evidence of the Fruit of The Spirit in his daily life.

David's struggle with these manifested flaws is OK, we all deal with issues. However, we are called to walk in the Power of Christ and the Holy Spirit. It's not OK to exhibit that kind of behavior and just happily continue ministry elsewhere under a more "controlled" set of circumstances.

David can start another Church or continue to impart his wit and wisdom. It's a free country. I just wouldn't want any part in a fellowship that isn't submitted to walking in daily Fellowship with the Lord. By his behavior with BCC staffers and his affiliation with Craig Barber and the Red Caboose incident.... I think David needs the Lord a lot more than he needs his following.

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger Richard said...

Nathan;
Sadly, I have to agree with you. In the situations I have witnessed identical to the current BCC event, the men who fell into sinful patterns in their relationships with others (notably their subordinates) refused to see their sin and failed to repent. In the first ministry, the man walked away when confronted by the board, refusing counseling and the ministry fell apart. In the other situation, the board couldn’t see the problem, ministry continues but staff members come and go on a regular basis.
I hurt for Dr. Foster. He had a chance to move to a new level of spiritual grown and professional success if he had followed the leading of the board. Instead, he chose a path I find hard to believe God would sanction. Just think of how our church would have developed had Dave taken on the role of Founding Pastor and teaching team member and devoted the next few years to study, meditation and writing. What a waste of opportunity!!!

 

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