Category Archives: Ministry

To Love Is To Help It Become What It Is

To love the Church, then, is to help it become what it is. The first axiom of classical Greek wisdom is “Know yourself.” The second is, “Become what you are.” When St. Paul speaks of a Church without spot or wrinkle, therefore, he is not speaking of a different Church than the one with which we are so restlessly dissatisfied. No, he is speaking of this Church becoming what in reality it is. This does not mean that the whole of past and present Christianity will finally be vindicated and presented as the Bride of Christ, “holy and without blemish.” We know there are tares among the wheat, but we are also warned by our Lord not to embark upon a premature and presumptuous effort to sort out the one from the other. That will be done in due time. For now, and until he comes in glory, our task is to love. And to love means to assist in the actualizing of possibilities perceived by faith.

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Too often movements for change fail not for lack of analysis, nor for lack of commitment, but for lack of love. And when movements that are without love do succeed, their success is often a greater wrong than the wrong they set out to correct. Whom you would change – lastingly, and for the good – you must first love.

Richard John Neuhaus, Freedom for Ministry, pages 15-16

RJN

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How Christians Evangelize in the Future…and Even Today

Click here to read a presentation from the Episcopal Bishop of Springfield, Illinois. As you read, please remember Bp. Martins is Episcopalian, not Lutheran.

I do like his presentation, especially how Christians are given to live in society in this time of tectonic shift in how not only Christians are considered in society, but also how the Christian Church is considered in society.

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What Would Your Ecclesiastical Supervisor Say…

…if you (Pastor) or another pastor you know stood up before a group of pastors and said the following words?

During my whole ministry I have been listening to the glowing success stories of other pastors. I have felt intimidated by those who obviously knew an awful lot more than me about growing their churches. Out of sheer self-doubt I have shirked the daunting task of saving the world. I have felt guilty because my Gospel presentation is apparently not winsome enough. I have lost sheep and lost sleep. My joy has taken a vacation and my natural optimism has deserted me, all because I have not done what the experts said. And I refuse to tell you gentlemen how great my current ministry is. It’s bad. All the numerical indicators are down. I am losing members. I am losing leaders. Confusion reigns among those who are staying. They are sad. I don’t know what will happen next week much less next year. I have no five-year plan. I just barely have a five-day plan. Yet, gentlemen, despite this terrible news I still think that God is doing just find in my church, and I think I am too.

Would he say, “Help is available with our team of experts?” Would he say, “I’ll pray for you and circulate your name?” Or would he encourage the brother pastor? You make the call.

The quote, by the way, is from The Fire and the Staff by the late Klemet Preus. I recommend you read it.

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