Saturday, January 05, 2008

On a Journey

Church leaders need to ask: do they see constituents as foot-soldiers in a cause that somehow will benefit the church, or are they leading their members into a transformation that might well spin out of the institution's control? —Tom Ehrich

I mentioned a year or so ago, that my deacon friend had given me a subscription to a year of meditations (On a Journey) by Tom Ehrich. At the time, Tom lived in North Carolina. I liked what he had to say about the mission of the church. He was one of those very direct in-your-face kind of writers, not afraid to call a wort a wort, and much of what he said I could relate to on a personal level.

Fast forward. Tom moved to New York. He got a job at the church where I once worshiped and now volunteer. My subscription expired. The church's staff gets a free subscription, so I asked that mine be extended. They did, but sent them to my church email address. What a pain. I only go there once a week, and I really like to start my day with somebody else's words... and piggy-back my focus from there. I whined in an email. They changed the address.

Okay, so this is one tiny piece of evidence that the man is not just words. I met him once but I don't actually know him. He didn't have to change the address; the freebie is for staff and I only loosely qualify. Yet he did it.

His meditation today speaks to transformation... the third person of the trinity of "membership development" for churches. It seems to me, the first two: recruitment and retention are where most churches (and businesses) stop. Like the Holy Spirit I thought... transformation is a loose canon, too dangerous. Look what happened to me! A nun, for God's sake.

Here's the soft-sell commercial message: Check out his website and subscribe. Just because I have no money doesn't mean you don't.

1 comment:

HeyJules said...

"Look what happened to me! A nun, for God's sake."

Man, Claire, sometimes you just really crack me up!

A nun...for God's there's any other kind of nun! LOLOLOL