Friday, July 18, 2008

Mixed Feelings

From Wednesday morning through Friday lunch, I have been at our District denominational meetings that happen every year. My feelings are mixed as I sit through these sessions. I look around the room and see the average age of our delegates making decisions for us hovering around 65+. I see the heritage, but I also see reports of many churches that have been stagnant or in decline for many years. I struggle with feeling angry and sorrow for these churches. One church actually reported an average Sunday morning worship average of seven, yes, I said seven. I look around a room and see people that stand as if they are mummified when we sing songs that have been written in the last 5 years while whooping and hollering when we sing the old hymns of the church. I have been challenged to engage in the music we have sung and to realize that it is all about WHO we are singing rather than WHAT songs we are singing.

I guess more than anything, I will walk away with a sense of encouragement. I have had many of these older Christians offer words of encouragement, pledges of prayer, and stories of perseverance. One lady told me the story of her father starting a church in New England in the late 1940s. Several times the church was almost closed. 60 years later the church is the strongest in that region, it is a story of perseverance, of hope, of endurance. She told me not to quit when the tough times come.

Over these days I have felt many emotions, some good and some bad. One thing is for sure, Sprang is strictly forbidden from ever forming an orchestra.

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