Wednesday, September 03, 2008

And I led a Cell Group

The year was 2001 March/April-

Since most of the leadership went off to this newly formed church with the newly gone pastor, there was almost nothing left of the church. Those who stayed back were the ones who weren't that close to the pastor who left, and that means, secondary leadership in management terms.

Thus, I was called in to take the reins of a sinking ship. The leadership of so many of our Cell Groups had left, and brought their closest friends with them that we had to start over from nothing. Members were dropping like flies. Collateral damage, as it were.

New leadership started to emerge, but not without a price. There were some members who were so used to the leadership of the previous pastor that they too left after a while. So the church suffered 2 waves of negative growth. The first wave left together with the pastor, and there was a second wave that left after a few months. Some dropped by the way-side and were hurt by this dip in the church, some grew stronger, but some never came back to any church at all.

It was one of the darkest moments in our church life.

From 140 worshipers weekly, we dropped to about 60 per week. Cell Groups had to be merged in order to stay alive. Leaders were pushed up into the spotlight without much experience, and we gained our experience along the way, making mistakes that ultimately hurt ourselves and the people whom we cared for.

I had the unfortunate experience of 'loving' a cell member too much. She had been going out with a non-Christian at that time and I didn't have the tact to counsel her nor to talk to her. I only knew how to tell her what is wrong and right. And she proved to be my ultimate failure. She left the church, the cell and until today, I still look back with regret. I lost her because I was just too controlling. Although I did grow and learn from that experience, but there was a casualty. It still makes me sad that I did not shepherd her in a way that she could be won back. She became a person who would walk to church on a Sunday morning without complain, to a person who refused to come to church even if fetched. And I became a failure in showing love and compassion.

It was only after about 5 years after the first wave that we picked up ourselves as a church and regained our strength, becoming who were are today. Some of us still live under the trauma of the split, some still have not come back entirely; they are in church, but they are not the leader that they are supposed to be. Some have gave it their all, and maybe now, feeling the effects of burn-out.

(to be continued...)


Blogger Bea said...

whoa...i've never heard this part of fcc history before...

September 07, 2008 11:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when i joined fcc in 4 years ago, fcc was almost already on the recovering process but i felt like i'm as if i went thru what you had gone thru. When i read your post, some of those feelings were still around. But this is one thing that i don't wish to bring it to another generation.

September 09, 2008 1:52 am  

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