Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blinded by the...light?

Church member: “I have been a member of this church since 1944.”
Pastor: “That's before my Dad was born!”

Pastor: what would a sustainable model of ministry look like for the finance committee?
Church member: [30 years of history and conflict spewed out in just over 30 minutes]

I have been a part of my internship congregation for a whopping six weeks. I have been charged with leading the congregation through a process of re-orginizing the church so that by the end of this year we have a sustainable model of ministry. This mandate comes from the Methodist district office, so it is not optional!

To put it mildly, it is daunting to think that I would have anything to say or contribute to this church. Many of the active members have been active members since WWII! They can spew forth the history, conflicts, hurts, successes because it is embedded deeply in their hearts. And not just the history of the church, but the very building has been maintained and held dearly by the church members. Sewer-lines, wiring, painting, decorating, donating – has all been done by the core of the congregation; not just for the past decade but the past FIVE decades. This puts my six-weeks with them to shame.

However, we need a vision and we believe that God has a mission.
What is God's mission for this church?
Can we see the vision?

This church, like churches all over the country are functioning just like they did in the 1950's. The 50's were great, the church thrived, God was good! However, time marches on, it is now 2011, the church is struggling...yet, God is still good.

This is a serious case of the blind leading the blind. 

[a more generic internship update: I am six Sundays in and we are gearing up for the school schedule. So far I have only been participating in the Methodist congregation of my site, in two short weeks I will be fully integrated into both the Methodist and Lutheran congregations.  Teaching Bible Study (starting with Philippians) and Confirmation has the Pastor a little nervous!]

*Coming up...saying good-bye to our favorite seminarian (he's going back to MN soon), a visit from Grandpa, and the Princess' first day of school!

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