I was chatting with my wife, Andrée today as we were getting the notes from Terry’s talk ready to publish. I felt like what she had to say was so insightful that I decided to ask her to share it here. So here is a rare guest blogging appearance from Mrs Warnock:
As Terry was speaking today I noticed he mentioned the word ‘transition‘ to describe the stage we are at as a family of churches. I found myself thinking about that word, and how it is used to describe a stage of labor before the baby is born.
The term transition is used to describe the stage of labor immediately before the painful pushing stage begins. It is often characterized by an emotional compulsion to give up, and a sense that it is all too much and can no longer be endured. It is also very painful. There can be an irrational feeling that nothing is progressing and that the baby will never arrive.
I felt that there may be some parallels to be drawn out here, for us as churches. The transition stage is a stage which often does not feel productive. But it is not a time to do nothing but to gather strength and resources for the task ahead. The transition stage requires resisting the overwhelming temptation to give up and call in quick fixes and give in to impulse decisions. It is the time to think of the joy that lies ahead, and to draw on the strength and power and grace of Jesus. The pain will continue and even increase, but we are nearing the fulfillment of promises and God is bringing our spiritual offspring to birth. He is bringing us into our destiny.
They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity, for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord, and their descendants with them.