Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's Complicated

I was in a meeting today where we discussed some difficult questions.

  • How do you motivate people who are poor in spirit to nurture those who are poor in food and clothing?
  • How do you continue to love those in your congregation who are fighting against routine- and tradition-upsetting outreach without failing to do the outreach? We are called to minister to all.
  • How do you communicate with people who are failing to listen and yet are complaining that you are not communicating?
  • How do you convince an inward looking church that is afraid of the possibility of its own "death" that the key to revitalization and transformation is to look beyond itself?

Here's the kicker. Christianity is not simple. It is not yes and no, black and white. It's difficult. Anytime a solution presented to us is easy, I'm suspicious.



Anonymous Galen said...

A) Each person has his/her own things that "dig at them" and sometimes they are different from other people's. Some people need images of the suffering, others need numbers or statistics, some need logically formulated arguments, and some need other things. Maybe it needs to be approached from an individual basis, since the problem is based on individual greed/"poor[ness] in spirit."
B) Is routine and tradition worth fighting back over? Sometimes change is good, and even though it can be hard, can be good. Personally I am not one for tradition, yet I still find ways to minister, etc. Some people just aren't the traditional type. Outreach can come in many different ways, maybe if the "upsetters" were put into a different branch of it they would be more satisfied.
C)Some people have attention problems, and some may not care. I wouldn't say that it would be good to ignore them, but refocus on things that you can effect rather than those that, through past experience, you know you cannot.
D)Perhaps you can find ways to make it look outward through an inward viewpoint, or see itself/its destination in a different light. Use what is available, turn problems into potential solutions. Problems and issues are some of life's greatest teachers, we should do our best to learn from them. Maybe the members should realize that the "death" of the church is not as important as serving, helping, etc. to get the focus outside of the church. Not that the church isn't important, but people tend to focus on what they perceive as important, and if their current perception is a problem then it should be changed.

11:20 PM  

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