the rear view:

i have been following a church's discussion concerning the hiring of a new senior pastor. it's been a great discussion and an interesting lesson (i am using them as an example for something i am writing) but what i have come to see is very interesting:

this church was planted some 16 years ago by a person who was one of the "founding fathers" of the hyper-modern movement (while he may be postmodern today, at this point in time he was not) - he moved on a while back and took other positions with other churches - i have no interest in giving his name, or the name of the church - so, let's move on - the church seems stuck, it can't move on. it keeps looking back to "when he was here" (which has been over 10 years back). could you picture people driving the way some churches think? if you send all your time driving looking in the rearview mirror, you never see what's a head of you, what do you think would be the outcome? as a church they are spending a great deal of time looking in the rearview.

i remember once talking with my grandfather (a very wise old man) who said that "at some point people reach a place in life were they have more life behind them, then they do a head of them. at that point people spend more time talking about the past then they do the futurte." the church is at this point. i believe, in the hearts of many, it is dieing and they want to remember the "good old days" and recapture the "glory days gone by." by looking back, all the church does is remember "what it was like" when so and so was here."

another problem the church has it it seems to want to drive the same car it did in the early 90's late 80's - and today the selection is so much better. they are looking for a "car with all the new bells" but not a new car. they are spending their time comparing all the people who are applying for the position to the pastor who left 10 years ago - and they want the same "gift mix." - the problem is that no two pastors have the same gift mix. what worked yesterday will not work today - it just won't.

churches that spend too much time looking into their past forget that they have a future. one church elder (from another church) told me, "i thought postmodern people cared about the 'ancient and future' parts of the church?" i said, "we do, but what happened 15 years ago is not 'acient' and we will use the ancient if it enhances our future." ancient does not mean "the great hymns of the church" from the 1700 to 1900's - it means the hymns of the 100 to 500's (maybe even up to the 1100's) - but the 1950 (while it may seem ancient to some) is not an "acient" time -

anyway - i just wanted to ramble - pax

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