Each day in the U.S., nine churches close their doors for good. This isn’t news—but it’s hard to talk about when it’s your church.
Everyone is ready to bow a knee at the mention of Bonhoeffer’s name. Precious few of us have even heard of Ralph Hamburger.
In response to our request for essays on risk, we received many compelling reflections. Here is a selection.
"Sam!" she says. She's greeting me as if I changed her life. Unfortunately, I haven't a clue who she is.
We all live with many callings in life, and the greatest is not to be a pastor—much less to be in the right job at a particular congregation.
Larry wondered what Stan wanted to see him about. Stan was not the sort of parishioner who often asked for counsel or help with a problem.
I have pastored the same church for 18 years. That's not exactly a towering pinnacle, but it does provide some interesting views.
Around 3:30, an SUV bearing the local TV station's logo pulled up. Thomas wondered how they knew about the service project.
I am cherished, and called by the Shepherd to serve the flock. But I can save no one.
I'm not indispensable. I knew the church would be fine for the weeks I was away. It's just that I missed them.
A pastor 30 years older than I was interviewing me for my first parish assignment. His final question unsettled me.
"It doesn't happen every day," says Kevin J. Long of Orchard Park Presbyterian Church in suburban Indianapolis. "But it is thrilling to see someone begin to grasp the good news of Jesus Christ."
"People need to hear the good news," says Katherine Willis Pershey of First Congregational Church in Western Springs, Illinois. "If the church doesn't take on this mission, I'm afraid—well, that's where that sentence can end. I'm afraid."