We know what stories do. The words bind us into a larger narrative. They give us an emotional and historical connection. They allow us to transfer important values. But they also allow us to build an intergenerational self.
I am tired of pretending that we want to hang out at the country club and eat cucumber sandwiches in fancy hats. We are not some sort of upper-crust elite society. Now, it's time to discard that tired label that ties us too closely with a particular race and class. It's time to call forth another name.
Many in Gen X are annoyed that we’ve spent a lifetime living under the looming Boomer shadow, and now we’re getting swallowed up by Millennials.
Closing a church is like eating the last slice of bread—somehow if you eat the last slice, you’re responsible for consuming it all (never mind that someone else ate the last 27 slices). A church can be declining for 40 years, but if a pastor comes in and starts to talk about closing a congregation, then she closed the church. Many people don’t want to be that pastor.
Frozen lasagna is also a pretty good metaphor for how church has been working for many communities.
"I feel like a Hospice nurse," I sighed as I set down my bags. I had so many funerals in my small congregation that I had little time for anything other than caring for the dying.
Leaders in mainline denominational churches crave creativity, vision and success. We like to learn from other disciplines. But is Steve Jobs the best person to teach us?
Most people who serve as church leaders realize what an important time it is in our religious landscape. Because of demographic, generational, technological and economic shifts, we realize that many churches are coming to the end of their seasons. In this important moment, we will need leaders who can experiment, create, test and plant.
Regular churchgoing does not make you a friend of death. But if you sit in the pews long enough, you cannot help getting acquainted.
Sue came into the church office in order to help with some paperwork and plans for Sunday morning worship. “What are we doing for Mother’s Day?” she asked. I paused. I had always benignly neglected Mother’s Day at our church. I thought of it as a Hallmark holiday, and not something that should fit on a liturgical calendar. I was taught in seminary that we should never mention it. Plus, there were personal reasons as well.