I'm currently reading Bishop Robert Schnase's book "Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations". In my conference, we have been trying to enact all five of his recommendations for a few years now. It should be easy but it's not. I think that anyone trying to lead a congregation should read this book and so should everyone else.
I loved his statement on page 29. "Members blame the scapegoat and find fault for why things don't work better, and they deny and ignore and avoid their own complicity in the stagnation of their churches." "This won't change until each person takes responsibility for practicing Radical Hospitality as obedience to the ministry of Christ. Church members have to mature from "they ought" to "I will".
Imagine my delight in reading that particular statement, especially after hearing about my dog situation yesterday. Not that I am going to even acknowledge that particular piece of idiocy from those particular members of my church. All of this was churning around in my brain as I took my dogs for a walk today (see they even help me prepare my sermons), I came back and wrote my sermon for week after next. I don't say this too often, but it is pretty darn good. I'll let you know how they receive it after the 20th. I may be running for the nearest exit, but it speaks to the truth. (But I don't mention the dogs, no reason to poke the bear :)
I am back on my regular work-out schedule after being gone for the holidays. I did a pretty intense work-out last night and I can't move my right shoulder today. Thank the Good Lord that I can type without moving my shoulder. All those push-ups did something and it hurts. Why oh why couldn't it have been my left shoulder?!? Your ankle or knee or wrist, you can bind it up but your shoulder.....down into your chest muscles.
Now I know that some churches kind of take a deep breath after the Christmas holiday's but my January is looking as busy as December was with marriages, dedication services, District events, training events, Reaffirmation of Baptismal Covenant Service. You name it and I seem to be doing it right now. Plus a special meeting between the church and the District Superintendent (that they asked for). It seems that they believe that the "Church" is trying to get rid of small churches. Does it ever end??