As a semi-psychology buff, I have always been drawn to Erik Erikson's stages of development chart. I have found that when put in the light of the "church" this chart can explain a lot of our behaviors. One of his stages is "role confusion vs. identity" This stage is one that churches cycle through throughout their lifetimes.
Every church should in fact live a cycle...constant transformation. It is the churches who follow this that succeed and it is imperative that church do not stagnate. Those that do get lost in Erikson's last stage Ego vs. Despair. And you can tell from the name that several of our churches fall into the despair category.
Back though to identity vs. role confusion. That is an important stage not only in development but also in our church life. It is here that the church can take on its mission statement and create goals and it is success in this stage that leads us to becoming a church that can help ourselves and others create a lasting and strong relationship with Christ. People want authentic church - places that feel comfortable and confident in who they are.
As we continue to embark on our journey of identity - who we are now that we are no longer in a yoke relationship, who we are now that we sustain a solo Pastor, who we are as the only church in Huron, who we are as our church family expands - let us not lose track of being real and authentic in order to successfully move to a better relationship with the Divine Creator.