New beginnings

Now that I am retired, my church home is as a member of a small group of country churches. Our churches have been without their own minister for the last almost three years. The new minister was inducted into her new job a month ago. Already there is a sense of people wanting to work and worship together and support her. I have always recognised that a “vacancy” – (where a church is between ministers) is a testing time for congregations, and it has been so here. Despite the hard work of local people, a neighbouring minister to give oversight and a team of visiting preachers, there has been a feeling that something is somehow not complete. A visitor at our morning service yesterday was remarking upon how nice it must feel to have the new minister installed in the Manse (same as a Rectory) in the village. And I am a bit embarrassed to admit that this is indeed correct.

It is a lesson in practical theology but I have not quite worked out how to express it. There are so many theories about all-people participation, and it is true that churches desperately need volunteers to help them to thrive. However, the dynamic of a leader is also required. Perhaps it is easier to see this because I am retired and because I am one of the members rather than the “person up front.” One thing is sure, I am deeply grateful that we are at a new beginning in our beautiful Highland area, and in that, there is a sense of the presence of God.

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2 Responses to New beginnings

  1. AnneDroid says:

    Interesting post.

    I’m attracted by some of the liberating ideas of the emerging church movement but I feel some go too far in rebelling against “minister/leader” in favour of democracy and all-people participation. No one wants a mad dictator for a minister but the briefest glance at the Bible suggests God operates by calling and equipping leaders. Not as one-man-bands or one-woman-bands of course, but to lead and encourage and facilitate the people to use their gifts to serve God…

    So, for what it’s worth, I think it’s absolutely right that it should be a relief and a celebration to have someone in your manse again!!

  2. freda says:

    Thanks, Anne. Our minister happened to read the post and was very pleased, so that is a relief!

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