“Growing up in Venezuela,” Mike explained, “it was a part of our Roman Catholic tradition to set up a Nativity scene or Crèche as we called it. When I was 10 years old, my uncle brought a large set of figures from Rome for my mother. At that time, we had a sitting room in the house that was only used for formal visiting. It was in this room that we set up the Crèche.”
I’m not sure I can live in a world where even Monopoly changes. I am getting old. Change is hard. But change is part of life, even a part of our church life. One reason there is change is because our children change as they grow older. So, this is all their fault.
Could one or more of these four emails come close to describing your situation? One thing, I’ve learned over the past 30+ years of ministry is that life is full of mistakes, sorrows, difficulties, obstacles and disappointments. The last two years during the pandemic added additional stress, tragedy and chaos.
I soon felt at home in my new church. All because two people who should have been angry, reached out the hand of friendship and offered the forgiving love of Jesus Christ. Looking back, I realize this was a key moment in my life and will always be grateful for their encouragement.
“Send the regular cockroach letter” type leaders damage the organizations they lead just as surely as the bugs destroyed that tree. You may not notice at first or you may hope that it will somehow fix itself but over time the damage will eat the heart out and the organization will fall.
Leadership and teamwork provide direction and stability even when surrounded by chaos and confusion. Good leadership creates an oasis of calm even when surrounded by a raging storm. Years ago, I started a leadership group for pastors. The purpose was to give them a place to feel encouraged and share ideas. Ron, one of the pastors who participated felt led to write about his experience:
The song on the radio was an old sixties hit, “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. Stephen Stills wrote it as part of a youth protest of anti-loitering laws in California, but today, those same words could easily apply to many of today’s problems.
Two churches once separated by denomination and race learned to work together and discovered the real meaning of loving our neighbor as ourselves. Today, as our country seems more divided than ever, this story reminds me of God’s desire for us to truly love our neighbor.