Saturday, July 12, 2008

Truth II or Telling Truth to a Congregation

I had a long conversation last night with a friend. She's writing a piece about her experience on this journey with me. And we began talking about the congregation I serve. I am struggling with them because I believe they are stuck, are happy being a "family" or a "club" and have little interest in following Christ. This, I believe, is the reason they have not had a new member in oh, lets say 10 years. The pastor who preceded me worked long and hard to "transform" them (transform being what I think is the latest Presby-speak for trying to revitalize a congregation). She left/was fired after a tenure of 7 years there. They didn't have an interim for two years and then I was called as a designated. When I came, I wanted to do some visioning. I was told not to use the v word. There was lots I was told not to do because my predecessor had dome them and the congregation wasn't happy. And so, I did what I thought needed to be done and used different words. Which was probably a mistake.

The bottom line is I don't know how to tell them the truth. The truth hurts and I don't want to hurt them. But, I am frustrated. So, my sermon tomorrow will attempt to tell the truth (unless the spirit gives me something else to say in the middle of the night). I do need to cool my anger. My predecessor used to lose her temper in session meetings. I wonder why???? Everything she focused on as an issue that needed to be addressed are the things I focused on. She was absolutely right in her instincts.

I don't understand my reluctance around the truth. So, pray for me today and tomorrow as I craft a sermon about the church as the ground for the word.

4 comments:

cheesehead said...

Joan, of all the things Jesus said and did (or did not say or do)nobody has ever been able to refute this: He spoke truth. In love and sometimes in anger or frustration. Plain spoken or in riddles. It was truth.

We do those we serve no favors when we avoid speaking the truth in love. I am confident that you will do the right thing, the Christ-like thing.

Praying for you in the meantime...

Songbird said...

I wish you could have seen the oddly out of date and yet right up to the minute movie we watched in Interim Training yesterday about paradigm shifts (made when that was a new idea). There was a great story in it about what happened to the Swiss Watchmaking industry, how they failed to see that quartz watches were going to be the new thing, and they let the technology be snapped up by others, with the result that Swiss watches lost their hold on the markets to Texas Instruments and Seiko. They could not imagine that there could be another kind of watch.
I hope they are able to hear the truth from you and see the possibilities.

St. Casserole said...

I'll pray for you, too.

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