Parallels


I sit here this a.m. reflecting on almost 40 years of service to the church and to my community.  Grateful for the scores of lives touched in multiple cities; conversations and interventions of which many of those served were unaware.

I am not aware of any melodramatic mood this morning, simply attempting a realistic assessment of my next steps, and the energy and resources necessary for my next quest.  My first meeting this a.m. is with a political consultant.

Politics never entered my mind in 1978 as I prayed for God to use my life to reach cities.  I guess I was so locked into the congregational model that I assumed I would enable others and they would then be impactful at some larger scale?

However, I never dreamed some thirty years into my journey that the church would be so out of position in effective leadership within this country, while so oblivious to its plight. 

Let me say that there are churches now deep into that aHa, and headed toward transformation.  I am a part of one.

At least we symbolically have chosen to begin the journey, adjusting logos, web sites, even our name to imply our heart for the city over our commitment to our denomination. 

As well, we have begun to understand the concept of body life beyond our own campus, collaborating within a construct of multiple congregations and non-profits.  Those institutions are to be applauded.

Yet, something of concern looms on the horizon as we approach the state and national elections.  Damaged by a broken economy, alarmed by the fear of insufficient means remaining for retirement and for some, a growing expectation of entitlement, people are easily drawn into the divisions of a deeply polarized country.  A bi-partisan competition for power is now sanctioned as a way of life in America, but far from productive.

Throw in the attempts by some to legislate morality in areas, where love has long departed, and the democratic and theological institutions of our beloved nation become further biased toward failure.

Is there a place for a representative in government whose heart is to love people, reflect Christ and use wisdom?  We shall see.

2 thoughts on “Parallels

  1. You chose the right word “symbolically”. When leadership isolates itself from the people it serves, does it accomplish Christ’s goal?
    Is a “seeker-friendly” church the wave of the future in Evangelical circles; where church is “cool”, truth is “grey”, and the faithful are shepherded by leaders who look and act like the secular world around them. When novices are promoted to “pastors” followers lack vision. What is our vision for reaching our community? Where are discipleship programs when families are falling apart, and society is comfortable with alternative lifestyles and entitlement programs.
    Does the big “C” church really offer any hope outside of social settings?

    1. Dear friend,

      My line item response:

      “You chose the right word “symbolically”.” Meant as a challenge rather than an accusation.

      “When leadership isolates itself from the people it serves, does it accomplish Christ’s goal?”
      Not to be defensive, but there are limitations to what one person can do in terms of relationships (about 100 and thus why many churches peak around that number).

      “Is a “seeker-friendly” church the wave of the future in Evangelical circles; where church is “cool”, truth is “grey”, and the faithful are shepherded by leaders who look and act like the secular world around them.” I would concur if those same leaders are not following up on the “seekers” they attract with a full compliment of life application within the scriptures, even if that followup is via affordable subordinate staff, better yet a core of the congrgetation empowered to journey with those drawn to that “cool” church.

      “When novices are promoted to “pastors” followers lack vision.” Vision is an individual revelation that then connects and compliments a greater cause. I would not be a part of an institution with which I could not sense that connect.

      “What is our vision for reaching our community? Love out Loud

      “Where are discipleship programs when families are falling apart, and society is comfortable with alternative lifestyles and entitlement programs.” If you are talking about WS1st, lost in part to a facility no longer functional for traditional disciplship programs and probably should have been modified or the congregation relocated by leadership some years ago. However, the 24:6 vision now being developed could provide an alternative that will not require immediate relocation, while still engaging church consituents even beyond our own congregation. (my opinion only).

      “Does the big “C” church really offer any hope outside of social settings?” To me, the big “C” church is the Body of Christ and not necessarily restricted to a facility or programatic means, as reflected in the practices of the average campuses that occupy almost on every corner in America. You need to read my book, “Repo”!

      We are not far apart in our thoughts but I would rather talk directly than to an anonymous response. Not to be offensive (it may have been a technological selection default). Feel free to communicate at Mastercounsel@triad.rr.com.

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