My social media feed this week repeatedly showed me an article written by a pastor who is leaving his church and ministry in general. It provoked a lot of response among my colleagues, some of whom were sympathetic and others were annoyed.
I was among those who were annoyed. Yes, it seems that leaving ministry is the right choice for this individual. And, sadly, it also seems that the congregation he served for a number of years wasn’t particularly healthy. However, the article generally doomed all churches to failure. This was the annoying part.
It’s no secret that church membership has been in decline for decades and Pandemic magnified that. Churches are smaller and members tend to be older. Many, like us, are struggling with financial sustainability.
However, this doesn’t mean that we are going to fade out of existence. The church has survived and often thrived through millennia and a whole lot of social change.
Let’s not count the Holy Spirit out yet. She is powerful. The church is needed in the world today. Okay, so we need to make some changes and let go of things that were meaningful in the past.
Yes, we need to figure some things out and keep trying new things. We have work to do. This is not news.
More importantly, we have joy to share. As I’ve said before, community is one of the greatest unmet spiritual needs in the world today. Church knows how to be community. We know how to love one another and encourage each person to feel and claim their own value.
Now all we need to figure out is how to do this in a way that is meaningful for folx today. We have opportunity to be creative and adventurous. Then we sort out our resources so we can sustain vital ministry as we move forward.
Unlike my colleague who wrote the article about why he’s leaving the church and ministry, I am excited about what God envisions for us as we move into tomorrow. I look forward to beginning this new program year with each of you!
Together we are the Bodymind of Christ and with God all things are possible.
See you in church!
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