I am blessed with many talented and wonderful clergy colleagues during my 27 years of ordained ministry. Pastors who have served in large churches, mid-sized churches and small churches. Ministers who have been Executive Presbyters, served at synod level and served as leadership in the General Assembly. I am thankful for all those who have taught me about grace, love and what it means to be the church – the body of Christ. Recently, Rev. Sean Chow, who is the associate for training and c0horts at 1001 Worshiping Communities, and a former member of the Presbytery FOR Southern New Jersey, posted a reminder of what the church needs to focus upon especially as we move beyond this season of pandemic and into a liminal season:
Churches and worshiping communities too often long for what is missing. Is it families that another church is able to attract? Or maybe it is the charismatic pastor or the worship leader in the next town over? Or maybe the energy and connection another church has for the local community?
We long for what we don’t have and envy what others have. This is having a deficit-based mindset or believing that what we are is not enough. Our worshiping communities are often too rooted in this. We need to look at it from another direction that we a glass half full.
Believing the you are a glass half full is the thought that we are blessed with everything we need. Perhaps it is not everything we want, but everything we need to live into being the church of God in our communities. Each of our gifts, partnerships, financial assets, physical spaces, and more can be used for that mission. In believing that our God is sovereign, how can we believe that God has not blessed our worshiping communities with enough?
Churches need to reevaluate the “assets” they have and organize those around their corporate values. Your church has everything that you need to fulfill the calling God has for your worshiping community.
I agree with Rev. Chow… we have everything that we need to fulfill the calling God has for our worshipping community. As we move towards September and a new way of being church, I hope that you will prayerfully consider how you might share your “assets” with the Presbyterian Church at Woodbury!