Why is it that we so often fear the change that may make things not only different, but better? I think that we really do not believe that change is possible. We know the power of habit and the comfort of the usual, but change could bring a whole new level of understanding, of cooperation, of happiness. All of our powers of thought, science, theology, passion, and grit have brought us to where we now find ourselves; might they not also be used to bring about a whole new world. We must believe in the possibility of change if we want change to be a possibility in our lives. If we feel we are powerless and hopeless and we cannot see a way out, we are most to be pitied. But if we cannot put up with the way things are now (decreasing membership, biblical illiteracy, conflict) what is to stop us from doing a major makeover of what we are as church. Only believing that change is really possible…
What if…I mean just what if.. we as a Lutheran Denomination ,as the Church of Jesus Christ here on earth, we were free to re license those who once served our Synod in the capacity of Commissioned Pastors -I served as Pastoral Assistant 1991-1992 then the church I was serving requested the Synod Commission and License me for Word , Sacrament, licence to perform Weddings, I remianed as the Pastor of that church 1992-2003… i now serve only as volenteer Chaplain in lodges, and do pulpit supply – but still have the gifts for Pastoral ministry – just imagine – what if our Synod would fill some church vacancies by re instating the Commissioned status that served our people for nearly 13 years in one church-Could you IMAGINE that far outside the box of religious polity and political practice? Imagine one’s who once faithfully served as Commissioned Pastors returning to serve again…
I would agree that when it comes to freeing people up for ministry, we need to open the doors a little wider and let in some fresh air. I am not ordained, and may never be. But I’ve come to believe that if you care about doing ministry, you just do it; here, there and wherever God puts you (whether traditions and policies are on your side or not). I find encouragement in 1 Peter 5:6-7, “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.”
Ruby, He is most careful with YOU! What grace!
Thank you for posting your thoughts and joining in the conversation. Grace and Peace,
I would also agree with you. We are going to need to re-imagine how we think of leadership in the church. Yes, a seminary education is helpful, but an education a pastor makes not. Pastors need to be called because of the gifts that they have been given to share, not the academic degree which they have completed. If the church is going to thrive in the next age we need to think about how we free people for ministry.
Thanks for your post.