Thursday, February 02, 2006
The spirit of Churches
I've been thinking about a colleague who serves a disturbed church. That's right, disturbed. She's been pastor there for several years, much longer than most of the preachers before her. When she prepared the congregations's history for a recent anniversary, she realized that's she'd outlasted most of her predecessors. Her tenure will be less than ten years.
She's planning to leave as soon as her conference allows.
The congregation is demanding, difficult-t0-impossible to satisfy, passive aggressive, verbally abusive and secretive. Not everyone, of course. She's attracted numerous new members who stay until the rot begins to show, then leave. Her ministry wears her down. I've seen her when she had no eye sparkle left.
I think congregations have "spirits". Some congregations are loving, welcoming and gracious. Others are hard-hearted, stingy and perilous to serve. Some are rigid with their lives and others, careless.
I'm fortunate to serve a gracious congregation. I've served a stinker or two in my years as a pastor.
A great deal more can be said about this topic. Can you add to these remarks?
Slowly but Surely,