As many of you know, I’ve recently been rehired at New Life Church.  How that happened, why, and the process thus far, you may or may not know.

For the last several months I’ve been the Worship Arts Pastor at Celebration Church.  During that time, the Senior Pastor was walking through some self discovery and trying to determine the right course of action for the church.  He decided that the best course of action was to merge Celebration Church with New Life.  As part of that, I’ve been rehired at New Life.

While walking through the process, I’ve been thinking about what it means to merge.  Dictionary.com defines it this way:

merge (verb)

1.to cause to combine or coalesce; unite.
2.to combine, blend, or unite gradually so as to blur the individuality or individual identity of 
3.to become combined, united, swallowed up, or absorbed; lose identity by uniting or blending (often followed by in or into )
4.to combine or unite into a single enterprise, organization, body, etc.

So which are we?  Are we combining and coalescing?  Blending and gradually uniting?  Being swallowed up and absorbed?  Or combining into a single entity?

Or is there another option?  Are we flowing like a stream or river in which one tributary flows into another and it’s impossible to determine which water came from which source?  I think I like that idea…At least in the sense that, to begin with, we are one family.

Just as believers meeting in Africa, Australia, Asia or South America and Europe are all part of the same family, we too are part of that family.  Sometimes we forget it with those closest to us.  Sometimes it’s easier to look at churches across a city or region as competitors.  (I didn’t say that was right, btw, I just said we do it sometimes)

The truth is we are part of the same family, and as such we are to love and honor one another.  We are to continue becoming the people and family of God together.  We are part of a faith that is communal in nature.  The scripture is rife with familial metaphors and examples.  So in some sense no merge is even necessary.

But that brings me to the example of traffic.  We’re all headed the same direction on the highway, but we have to know how to merge safely – to allow space for one another so we don’t run each other off the road.  We have to be aware and sensitive to those around us and even if it seems inconvenient when we’re in a hurry, we’ve got to let people in.

I for one am grateful for being let back into the flow.  It’s good to be headed in the right direction. And I feel as we merge with one another, there is something we couldn’t see on our own that will emerge from the process.


2 thoughts on “(e)Merging

  1. Where the waters merge in a river there is inevitably a spot where the water does not quite merge and just slowly goes round and round. It is usually the best place to go fishing. Some people are hesitant to embrace the changes and therefore end up in the easy fishing waters trying to make it back up stream to the way it was. I try not to sit in those waters wishing for life back up stream, I sure hate to miss what God is up to.

  2. Carl, I love that analogy. I’d never heard it before. Probably because I’m not much of a fisherman. May we always seek to be in the right stream…besides, it can never really go back to the way it was in anything so we might as well embrace positive change.

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