In The Pilgrim’s Regress CS Lewis talks about growing up and being handed a card that was covered front and back with rules. He found that there was no possibility of following all of the rules, and this set him on his journey to find what truth really was.
As I was wondering around in the forest of the Emergent Church (see part 2), I decided to follow what I believed to be God’s call on my life to serve as a pastor. I honestly thought that I had something figured out, and was ready to lead a group of people in the same direction.
My fervent determination to make a difference in the church instilled a passion for learning, and in the process was opened to a number of books and resources on church leadership and church models, which is how I was exposed to the work of Thom Rainer.
Perhaps this is not the perfect time to be starting a blog. Many questions running around in my head about direction of life, the church, and such.
I have been looking for a pastorate for several months, and have been discouraged by the conversations that I have had. George Barna says that his research has found that 86% of our churches are in decline! And this is something that has been evident to me after conversations with churches who have no goals, direction, or purpose and who simply want a pastor to keep them comfortable. Sounds like what we tell terminal patients: “all we can do is help keep him comfortable.”
Well, I refuse to be a hospice pastor, that is a pastor whose only task is to oversee the death of a church.
But where does that leave me? Do I hide out and hold back in effort to become a pastor of a dying/declining church so that I can help infuse some vitality? Do I simply launch out and try to build a congregation from scratch in hopes of building a different footprint on which to errect a completely different structure?