Church in a Season of Change

I’ve been adventuring in a traditional church for several years now—hardly seems possible. I came to this role by accident: just made myself available to a pastorless church that needed a teacher on Sundays. The rest just sort of took its own course, although I suspect that course wasn’t apart from Father’s interest.

My reason for agreeing to stay on as a “pastor” was that I wanted to see if any of my house church experience was transferable to the inherited wineskin of the mid 20th century. Was it possible to retrofit an organizational, program-based church to a more relational model? Just maybe, if I took it slow and looked for ways to gently nudge the congregation out of its comfortable orbit…

So, how’s it going? The jury is still out. I’ve watched, on more than one occasion, the small, incremental changes I attempted to make, snap back to “normal” in a single elder’s meeting. Breaking old patterns is not easy, particularly when you’re an outsider, not sharing the denominational history of most of the church members.

I should have known, right? Perhaps. I guess it’s one of the hazards of optimism. But, assuming that the Lord is behind my sojourn here, what is He up to? Has He assigned me to oversee the quiet demise of an older congregation—the very thought is depressing—or do I need to keep trying different approaches until I find a way to respect what has gone before while preparing this fellowship for what lies ahead.

I’m voting for that. So, what might that look like? Excuse me while I ponder that for a bit…

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