Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Last night a small group of clergywomen got together as we try to do monthly or thereabouts. We talked a bit about my congregation. One of the women present is a former pastor there, two others had worked with the congregation (as pulpit supply and as moderator of session) while they were looking for me. So we talked a bit about the congregation and its unwillingness to change. They will do all the steps towards implementing something new and then it just doesn't happen (the congregation blames the former minister for things not happening: who so they think is supposed to do the work they have decided to do). So, on the way home, my friend who is unrelated to the congregation and I were talking about graphic novels. She is 68 and she knows what graphic novels are. I am 62 and know what graphic novels are. She was really excited about one she had seen with no words at all. (Does this mean sermons are a thing of the past?) We talked about how so many people in both our congregations never venture far from home. They don't go away to school (every young person with one exception) in my congregation goes to school in Memphis. Our inquirer wants to go to Vandy because she has friends there and it's close to home. So, they are not experienced with change, except change brought upon them by unforeseen circumstances which is almost always horrible: loss of a child, suicide, cancer, death. They have no experience with chosen change.

In the latest National Geographic Adventure Traveler magazine--sorry I can find the article on line--there is an article about group mind. It begins talking about A&P and how successful it had been after the depression, but then as people's ideas about what they wanted in a grocery store changed, A&P did not because they had been successful for 100 years. The thesis of the article was that we get into a group mentality and do not listen (accept??) outsiders and outside advice.

So, I'm not going to change the congregation. Only God can do that. I'm just going to do what needs to be done (preaching, visitation). I've already told session that.