“As the budget dwindles, and the congregation dwindles, and the influence dwindles, and the professional staff dwindles, and the spirit dwindles, and when faced with red lines in every direction, churches (in my experience) haven’t typically produced their most creative, intelligent, and insightful work. They usually just argue about “the young people” and “worship music” and how the next CEO can right the ship because he (It’s always a he isn’t it?) practices the 5 Habits of Highly Successful People.
However, when a pastor is able to non-anxiously empathize with “church,” with its pain and its confusion and the fact that it used to have more money in the bank but now seems like it’s going to outlive its savings, we’re able to start getting a better handle on what the moment before us actually requires, which, for the record, is almost never an “alternative” worship service or more synergy. That answer usually comes from a place of pain, which is why you’ve heard it brought up at least once every five years whenever your institution’s budget comes up short. If we can, together, push through the pain and the fear and the anxiety stemming from the very real problems besieging our institutions and our world, we might find that our creativity and intelligence and insight starts flickering to life like the lights on the dash of my old Civic when she finally turns over on a cold February morning.”
Read more at Red Letter Christians.