[CS-FSLUG] OT: How to Get Fired from a Seminary

Josiah Ritchie josiah at josiahritchie.com
Mon Sep 10 10:10:09 CDT 2012

On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 9:53 AM, Mark Clayton <clayton256 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I see such a disconnect between church leaders and the congregants.
> Everyone uses the same words, but there's a difference between what
> the leaders are
> saying and what the congregation is saying. I can't quite put my
> finger on what or where
> the disconnect is. It's like one of those things that you catch in
> your periphery vision
> but it disappears when you focus on it.

I'd humbly suggest the problems is that there is a them/us setup. We have a
bunch of consumers taking what the leaders produce rather than being a "we"
group. Our culture has taught us to consume and our Christian culture has
taught those in leadership to serve sacrificially by a generation that
served in a far less consumer driven culture and does not see the change.
The result is that consumers suck up all the free stuff they can get from
the producers. The producers produce materials (programs, studies, sermons,
"answer the phone no matter what") that worked well in the past, often not
recognizing that they can never produce enough for this generation. They
were taught to give them all they need. The people who taught them may have
even ridiculed those producers who did setup limits to their production.
Producers who recognize the need to protect become defensive not
understanding the "suck 'em dry" mentality. Besides, it is also an easy
trap to fall into being puffed up by constant need and see one self
as indispensable to the immediate health of the church. I think it also
doesn't help that in some places "discipleship" is another word for Bible
study rather than active spiritual mentorship. We are all to blame in some
regard for what we the church is today. We must all be a part of the
solution. Christian consumers are earnestly blind in their sin consuming
what they have been taught within the walls of the church to consume. With
the urgency of "come to church" across the generations we've taught that
the building or the leaders are the church rather than the group which
supports the ideas that you go act out your faith (consume the service) in
some building and then can step away from it and move on. We've been
building this problem for generations. Will this problem stop in this
period of time?

So what do we do about it?
We (you and I) must lead the Christian consumers to become servants of the
community instead of become their servants. Their consumption can be
stopped from draining the resources of the church and redirected into
Christian service. I suggest that the service should be directed toward
local and global mission. But the how do we find the time? I think this
comes from recognizing where we, the church, is failing to currently affect
change and close that down, even if it did work 20 years ago. Then move the
leaderships from an inward focus to inviting those inside to serve
alongside them in an outward focused way. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked
and paint the local school's hall ways, hold a field day for the kids in
the neighborhood, get to know your neighbors and find ways to care for
them, pay for your gas inside to build a relationship with the hindu guy
behind the counter and then share the gospel with these people. Come back
to church and share what God is doing and find ways to support each other.
Community ministry is not someone else's job, it's my job. The blessings
from sharing this will flow into others, pray that they'll get infected and
want similar blessings. Pray that their fears will subside. Invite them to
do ministry with you like fixing a neighbor's shed or come join a
neighborhood play date. Learn who your neighbors are and what they enjoy.
Engage them in conversation about their passions.

God has blessed me and my family as we've started down this path. It is so
worth it. I can say from experience that it sure beats complaining and
causes more change.

/me dismounts soap box...
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://ofb.biz/pipermail/christiansource_ofb.biz/attachments/20120910/9db11683/attachment.htm>

More information about the Christiansource mailing list