In Transition

country road south of New Dundee, ON

Yesterday I was at a breakfast meeting for volunteers in chaplaincy at one of Kitchener’s seniors’ homes. Some new faces and some whom I have seen regularly over the last five years. Many denominations are in the mix for encouragement for our dignified old friends.

One attendee announced that his participation would be coming to an end effective June 2015. His small congregation in New Dundee is dismantling. I asked about plans for re-location of the flock. He had no definitive answer. In his upper fifties, perhaps over 60. The disappointment showed on his otherwise pleasant, affirming face.

There must be many questions. Did I do enough? Did I show them the way? Is this chastening or something worse? Do I have the energy to fire it up again? What about my denomination? Is the organized church becoming irrelevant to this impatient, over-stimulated society?

Of this I am sure. The Pastor knows Jesus and His compassionate heart. The man is a comfort and encouragemenrt to approach. God does not shake His children for unsubstantial reasons. The Loving Father is aware of every heartbeat and question. And let us not forget that wonderful image of the Good Shepherd in John 10:4…”he goeth before”.


2 thoughts on “In Transition

  1. I wonder whether questions like, “Did I show them the way?” are as relevant these days. With instant internet access to Bible study resources, sermons, Christian communities, to bookstores full of Bible studies, etc., it doesn’t seem there is as much of a burden on pastors to be the only teachers of their flocks. If pastors concentrate on equipping their flocks to use available resources and study the Bible for themselves, their flocks will be able to find their way even if the church dismantles.

    I would love to see church transform into groups of people who are actively making a difference in the world in tangible ways. I wonder how many of Mother Teresa’s flock left. Audiences leave, players stay.

    I have no idea why that congregation is dismantling, I’m just thinking about why I have left congregations. It is probably less about the pastor and more about how we do church.

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