Ablaze Church Update Nov 2 2009

There are days when I wish we all read the same Websters Dictionary. Words are becoming too interchangeable  and it is easy to miss a point and lose your audience.  I’m especially aware of it now that I’ve returned from a speaker’s conference. The “but I know what I meant” doesn’t cut it. I need to make sure other people know what I mean as well.

It has also changed how I listen and how I ask clarifying questions. Sometimes it’s not what is said that causes confusion in my head, but what I think I hear. I get it wrong sometimes.

I’m a bit of a scatter brain, let’s face it. This is going to be a challenge for me. It’s also one I think is worth facing.

A good example is the way LCMS interchanges the words “Mission Start” and “Daughter Congregation”. One implies an eventual independent church and the other implies a satellite location. Most lay-ministers agree those are two different entities.

The problem lies, not in the layministers, but rather with those in pastoral rolls.  Many LCMS pastors and publications are using those two phrases synonymously when they really aren’t the same thing. This is causing confusion Synod wide, not just in our little church.

Is Ablaze in Broken Arrow a satellite or a mission plant? It honestly depends on who you ask. And that status is up for grabs at various intervals of time. The bottom line is, Our Savior is trying to figure that out. Our church leaders are reviewing many roads and many options. They will be presented to the congregation once they sift through it all.

Good changes have come about in recent months.

1 The board of directors at Our Savior is taking a stronger level of ownership at Ablaze and is applying the OSL by-laws to our plant. This is a change from last Spring when the BOD did not think those by-laws should apply.

2. Our Savior voted to allow Open Arms Learning Centers to come in a do market research. Just the research. They did not vote to build a preschool yet.

3. Four parcels of property were reviewed and released for the market proposal last week.

4. A new Bible Study is starting up in one of our member’s homes on Thursday evenings.

5. The teen youth at Ablaze are being included with our Senior High Youth Group at Our Savior and are all working together towards going to National Youth Gathering next June.

Now we wait.

Once we get the survey back, the board of directors at Our Savior will present the findings and recommendations to the congregation.

We still have some page turning to accomplish.  The in-house recommendation from the Strategic Planning Committee and the Board of Directors (both at Our Savior) is to treat Ablaze Church as satellite. That isn’t what the congregation approved three years ago. That too will need to be addressed after the first of the year before we move forward with anything.

If we treat Ablaze Church as a satellite location that means sharing of staff and resources. It means also that Our Savior carries the fiscal burdens of Ablaze as well. It means of lot of things that still need to be ironed out and researched.

In the meantime, the team worshipping at Ablaze are diligently searching out a more permanent venue for worship. Mobile churches are exciting, to be sure. They are also exhausting. We have over 50 people worshipping with us on Saturday nights. They and we, need a more stable home. Please pray with us that we find it.

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