Speak Friend and Enter

6 comments Written on June 29th, 2013     
Filed under: Core Values, Formation, Midwinter, Vocation and Call
Today’s post is written by Chris Logan, Pastor of Worship Arts at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, KS.


It’s really nice to know that you’re not crazy.

My first full-time pastorate had started so well. Sure, there were a few strange things (like the pastor talking about chips in people’s heads as he preached through the book of Revelation) but they seemed like the exception rather than the rule. People seemed nice, even genuine. And many were. But some were not. And they were the ones in charge. It was from behind the scenes, of course, but they ran the ship. And they were the ones that got me fired.

Officially, I resigned, but it was made clear to me that I could either choose to leave or it would be the option chosen for me. I “didn’t fit the culture,” I was told, though on my last Sunday, a good majority of the people in the church seemed awfully sad to see me leave. But as He always is, God had already been working, and when I started work at my new church, in a denomination I’d never heard of, I didn’t even miss a day of insurance coverage.

I arrived quite broken. Burned. Exhausted. It was December 1, and I had to not only learn this new church culture, I had to do it while my family was still trying to sell our house two states away, while I was searching for apartments, and while I was planning Christmas Eve services, never mind that I was barley starting to process everything that had just happened.

My family moved into our new apartment on the 23rd and my wife sang with me on the 24th. And then I told her I had to go to some conference in Chicago for a week. I wasn’t in any mood to go. I’ve never been much for conferences, but to leave my family during our first month in a new city felt like a bit much. I grumbled about it as only a passive-aggressive introvert can.

My first night there, two other worship pastors invited me over to the bar for a drink. This seemed dangerous to me, having come from a church steeped in the prohibition movement, so I ordered a coke. And after a few minutes of polite conversation, they innocently asked me how I’d come to be a newbie in the Covenant.

And it all came pouring out.

And that is why I am so passionate about Better Together. It’s not because it’s a great place for connecting, or because there is such a wealth of experience to draw from, or because of the friendships I’ve developed with people I’ve never met in person. It is all those things, but that’s not why. It’s not even because it was at a little roundtable discussion at that conference that this group was formed (I was there!). It’s because at a little table in a hotel bar, two guys who I’d never met took the time to listen to me pour out my anger and frustration and loss, and then told me that I wasn’t crazy, that I was not worthless, and that it would be ok …

… because I was now among friends.

So here’s to the rebels, the creatives, the men and women everyone else thinks are just a little nuts. You who are without inspiration, you can find it here, because here we share our mites and Jesus always makes them mighty. You who are without a community, you can find it here, because Jesus has brought us here together for this time and this place. You who are tired and weary of the way it’s become, come and be refreshed, come and dream anew, because here we sing even the most ancient of songs as though it’s the first time, and a new song is ever on our lips. Here, we have learned that we are better together.

We bid you welcome, and call you friend.

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6 comments “Speak Friend and Enter”

Thank you, Chris! Thanks for making me feel welcome, too.

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Chris, I remember when you came to lead us. I didn’t know what you had been through at your previous church. We, too, came from an anti-christ situation and were very injured emotionally. One begins to wonder if anything is right, even though you know the Truth. May the Lord continue to bless you dear Chris. He will, and you are better for that awful experience.

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I like how you referenced LOTR. Such a nerd 😉

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Chris, so many of us came here to the same significant surprise! For me, it was the surprise of being welcomed as a fellow pastor (no asterisk), even though I am female. It is so amazing to have one’s call be believed, after being generally received with, at best, a smirk, before. I’m so glad our Lord sent you people who could carry your pain with you.

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Inspiring reflection on the eve we finished Annual Meeting 2013 and Mission Detroit. And to borrow an apt cliche: Chris is the ambassador of “paying it forward.” A most welcoming person, himself. Cheers!

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So glad you found a “home” in the Covenant, Chris! And that we get to have you as part of the family.

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