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

Mark Clayton clayton256 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 11 09:54:15 CDT 2012

Thanks Josiah, your reply has got to be one of the most encouraging
things I've heard in a long time. I really appreciate your humility.
I've been pretty discouraged these days. Similar to you, I've been
blessed through service to those in need.

On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM, Josiah Ritchie
<josiah at josiahritchie.com> wrote:
> 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...
> JSR/
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