I resigned from the board and team guiding the Transforming Leaders Initiative on in November. Then I went through a process of saying goodbye to the participants in the TLi learning journey, and trying to end well. A leader's legacy is often determined by the extent to which he/she can leave well. Gregg's Letter to the Lutherans makes that difficult in some quarters. Also, I realized that I had crossed boundaries by posting some research regarding the churches in our Learning Journey. So, I took down the post and edited out those sensitive parts. Now the story is back up, for those who did not see it.
My wife and others are encouraging me to tell the story of my 10-year walk through the entropy of the Lutheran church. But, like a good wine, she encourages me to allow it to ferment for some time before I write it. That will allow some distance and perspective, so I can unwind my emotions from the story and tell it in a way that will be helpful and not just a critique. So, those of you who can't wait for my essay about the state of our seminaries will have to wait.
I am going to finish writing the book God's Faint Path first, then I will turn my attention to writing a structural analysis of the broken systems and structures that are propping up our and other denominations while they circle the drain.
As I turn my face from the renewal of existing churches to the new wine skins of church planting expressions beyond the Lutheran tribe, I thought I could, with integrity, continue on through the last two years of our Pilot Class' learning journey. I think in writing the post, my subconscious was saying, “ I just can’t go on, I’m done.” I look back and know that the 18 months between when I decided to leave my company and the conclusion of the sale and my exit were extremely difficult on me. Robert Fritz would describe my staying on at this point as falling into the "quit but don’t leave" category, and it is not healthy for anyone.
I have walked through the dark night of the soul and the spiritual desert for the last year. By the time we launched the TLi class a year ago, I was crashing, physically and emotionally. Physically, I have had challenges this year that I have never seen in my life. I only hit a wall like this one other time in my life. At that time, I said to myself that God must have a different path in mind, cause this one keeps ending up at a dead end.
This summer, I stopped writing, stopped working, stopped talking, and just spent three months waiting to hear from God. Still nothing. Finally, as we drove back to Atlanta after Labor Day, the lessons of the last year began to turn into a powerful discernment from God. This new direction has been affirmed in dozens of different ways since I first understood the new doors God was opening.
I am leaving the role of being a prophetic voice within the denominational church trying to lead and effect change to a worker in the field of an apostolic church-planting expression that has grown up right down the street from my house. My daughter and granddaughter are part of this community as well, and I thank God to be back in church with my daughter again.To the many friends I've met across the church, I'd love to stay in touch. I hope this blog will be a part of that touch. Peace and Blessings.