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In but not of…


All throughout my training I was reminded that we are to be in the world but not of the world. I was told that we were to be transformed, to be new creations.  I was taught that we do business in the church differently than we do business in the world.  I was taught that there was a difference in being a church leader and a business leader.  They lied.

The seminary I attended merged with a university of the church (read hostile takeover) – three of the most senior professors were let go, one while he is recovering from quadruple bypass.  We have been told it’s about cost savings and redundancy.  Interesting, that sounds much like Bank of America, or General Motors, or one of the Wall Street firms.  It was handled much like any corporate layoffs, complete with security.  I guess in but not of no longer applies when it’s a matter of saving money.

75 years of experience in molding and shaping pastors doesn’t mean anything.  75 years of experience in teaching men and women about theology, history, worship, pastoral identity gone… all in the name of saving money.

Funny, I thought that was the world’s way – I guess I was wrong. We wonder why our churches sit empty and people are fleeing – maybe it’s because folks don’t see any difference inside or outside the walls of the church.  Maybe it’s not about music style, or preaching style, or baseball schedules – maybe it’s because we don’t look very transformed and we sure as hell don’t act it.

I will return from vacation tomorrow and I will remove my diploma from the wall of my office, I will box it up I will pack it away for that is the way of the world.


One Comment leave one →
  1. 5July2012 17:14

    I understand your disappointment and disillusionment, and I am so sorry for your sense of loss. I was laid off after serving on the staff of a church for ten years, and I asked the same questions you’ve asked. The church has been inviting the corporate world to take charge, to lead our ministry teams and chair our councils and boards. We got it backwards. The Church is supposed to raise up godly leaders and send them out into the marketplace in the name of Jesus. Instead, the Church has sold itself out to the marketplace in the name of growth (read more butts in the pews) and financial gain.
    Please don’t forget the early training you received. Don’t give up. The Church needs you.

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