Being a minister is really hard. Being a minister during this transformational time in church history, is even harder. There is a temptation while looking at declining budgets, declining memberships, and uncertain futures to begin to compete with each other over potential members or to try to outdo each other with better buildings and programs.
We may act like we are isolated silos in each of our own churches. Ministry can certainly feel lonely, but what you decide at your church impacts me and my ministry. Just as you are defining church by the decisions you make as a congregation, so too, are we doing the same. Both of us call ourselves a church. Both of us are trying to make an impact in our community. Both of us are forming the rhetoric that is used to talk about churches, religion, and God.
We can keep pretending that we are separate and isolated silos. We can argue over worship styles, worship times, and worship attire. We can argue over who can come to church and who can’t come to church. We can even argue over who is a Christian or who is not a Christian.
Or we can start working together on the things that we can agree on. Like that there are people who are starving every day. Or that there are people who will die because they don’t have food or heat while we play in the snow and enjoy hot chocolate. Or that there are people who don’t have homes while we have huge unoccupied buildings for the majority of the week. Or that there are people who don’t have access to the internet to look for or apply for jobs when we have multiple devices that can access any information at our fingertips.
I’ll retire my theological arsenal and stop firing shots. I won’t try to convince you that women can be ministers and pastors, and I won’t show you the number of women who are leading congregations to transform lives and their communities. Instead, we can talk about the weather or about how great UNC basketball is as we help the people who are so desperately in need around us.
Isn’t that more worthwhile than holing up in our isolated silos peering out our window at each other plotting and planning how we can attack each other and prove each other wrong?