Thursday, May 26, 2016

Restructuring



Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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"They have eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear.
They have hearts that don't want to see and hear."

Word

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    Art Pace left a pastorate in Garwood, New Jersey to become a chaplain with the Army.

    Smart.

    Finally, he had a congregation that respected God as well as country.

    He's a triple-dipper by now.

    Anyway, he wrote a skit that I've used many times over the years.

    It's about restructuring.

    Funny/pathetic how things don't...

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The Meeting
(RSV)

    Pastor: "I call this meeting of the Brandex Presbyterian Church to order.  We've got a serious item on our docket.  Our money and membership are down."

    Church Lady 1: "We used to have 54 members and an endowment."

    Church Lady 2: "But we lost 50."

    Church Lady 3: "That leaves just us."

    Pastor: "I'm a member of presbytery."

    Church Ladies 1-3: "Ouch!"

    Pastor: "But, remember, wherever God is, there's a majority."

    Church Ladies 1-3: "Yes, it sure is refreshing that we're now the majority of the church."

    Pastor: "So how do you propose attracting more money and members?"

    Church Lady 1: "How about some preaching about Jesus and the Bible?"

    Church Lady 2: "I don't think so.  I like the sermons just like they are."

    Church Lady 3: "Absolutely!  Three irrelevant points and a poem by a dead guy!"

    Pastor: "Thank you.  The President has always been my favorite theologian; and I love books by those former professors from Fuller and Rebuke who..."

    Church Lady 2: "How about a movie night?"

    Church Lady 3: "How about fundraisers for people longing for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more?"

    Church Lady 1: "How about bringing in a preacher who loves Jesus by the book for some revival meetings?"

    No response from Pastor and Church Ladies 2-3.

    Pastor: "Let's hire an elephant and march it through town with a church banner on it?"

    Church Lady 2: "Neat!"

    Church Lady 3: "Awesome!"

    Church Lady 1: "Well, maybe that would encourage some of us to talk about the elephant in our..."

    Pastor: "Out of order!  You're being rude!  You're being unkind.  You're bullying us!"

    Church Lady 2: "I move the elephant!"

    Church Lady 3: "Second!"

    Pastor: "Let's vote!"

    Church Lady 1: "No."

    Church Lady 2: "Yes!!!"

    Church Lady 3: "Yes!!!"

    Pastor: "Onward Christian..."

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    If you have a problem with your watch, don't look at the hands.

    Structure.

    Look deeper!

    Substance.

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    While I may be wrong, any process/structure/polity can work...if the right people are in...

    I believe the right people are people who love Jesus as the foundation, focus, and filter of their creeds and deeds.

    Such people include mercy, grace, forgiveness, and agape in all of their decisions.

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    The Imperials remain right: "There will never be any peace until God is seated at the conference table."

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    Someone is missing in dying churches...and countries...and marriages...and families...and...

    It/He has nothing to do with restructuring; and as a faithful old church lady once said, "You can't give away what you ain't got for yourself!"

    The Church has always been about Jesus; and people are saved when it is.

    Dying churches are blind and deaf to that/Him; and that's why everything is going to...

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Blessings and Love!

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Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!
Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

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1 comment:

Stephen50208 said...

So... I'm just going to throw out that diminishing churches may be almost as much about a cultural shift in which the poloi have been so seduced by EVERYTHING ELSE that they are not aware that anything is missing from their plate.

Simultaneously, the delivery system of said churches no longer syncs with these poloi. There is no intersection between the messengers, the message, and the audience.

The good news, in my opinion, is that there is a continuing ripeness for the what's next. (And I haven't even attended the NextChurch stuff.)

BTW, yep, I'm right on board the notion that without the living Christ in the midst of what we're doing, we might as well just play church league softball, and leave it at that.

S.