Do the hustle! Freak Out! Get down on it! If you remember any of these song lyrics then you are probably a child of disco. I was talking to a member of the congregation a few days ago, another “Baby Boomer” like me, about the kind of music we grew up with. She commented on the 70s being her favorite genre, because it took her back to the good times in high school. Even though I attended high school in the late 70s, I was never allowed to listen to that kind of music. It was considered “sinful”. But once I joined the military after graduation I got my fill of 80s music, and I loved it! Disco was an amazing time in my own evolution as a person. It was truly a time of discovery for me. The energy and motion of the dance floor truly made you forget your troubles and get happy!
But it was really hard to dance those crazy dances! I mean, you really had to be coordinated! I watch the kids today and wonder how they are able to play Dance, Dance, Revolution so successfully. I thought I could dance, but when it comes to that kind of dancing, I have two left feet! It was the same with disco…I’m great at free style, but it was really hard for me to learn the moves of John Travolta. But it really didn’t matter whether I got the dance steps right or not on the dance floor. It was like being in a completely different place mentally and spiritually.
Our spiritual journey is like that sometimes too. We occasionally experience the true nature of God to the fullest, and feel the joy that comes from knowing everything is going to be all right. We sometimes feel like we’ve gotten all the steps right, and are moving in synchronicity with the One who guides us through each step of our life. And even if we mess up the steps occasionally, we are assured that the dance is still beautiful, and precious in God’s sight. And we always have the chance to get back on the right foot…back into the DISCOvery of it all.
Our growth as a church has been slow in process these past few years. Yet I have a peace within me that all will be well. Even as the leadership team meets to decrease our budget to match our income, I feel that God is in control. I will most likely be going part-time as your pastor in order to decrease our expenses, and I am giving up my pension for the time being as well. We will have to eliminate several positions, scale back on our expenditures, and most likely simplify our worship experience and outreach programs. But that is okay with me. I am even at peace with it, because I know that I’ve given everything I have to this church. I’ve discovered that no matter what happens in our lives, it’s learning from the experience that determines success. Failure is just a matter of not understanding the learning in the experience.
Success is a process. It takes a goal + purpose + activity to realize it. The goal is something tangible that you want to accomplish. It is an objective that is usually physical in nature or an accomplishment to acquire. The next factor for success is having a purpose for that goal, which is knowing why you want what you want. So often we have goals but we really don’t know why we have them. The third factor for success is activity; doing what it is you do to get what you want.
My goal for Journey Church is to be a light of God’s love and grace to everyone in our community. That means shining the light on the intolerance, homophobia, exclusivity and judgmentalism that pervades our society, and countering it with acceptance, embrace, inclusion and forgiveness. My purpose for this is to be more Christ-like in everything that I do so that I will know the mind of Christ. The activity is teaching what I know and believe to be true about God and myself.
I anticipate a wonderful journey of DISCOvery over the next year. No matter how long we have on this earth to accomplish our ministry together, it will be the most amazing, loving, transformative time we will ever live. And in that living will we discover the boundless grace that exists for us and for the world. I hope you will dance with me! The dance floor is always open, and God is our dance instructor!
Blessings on your journey of DISCOvery!