I returned to We Refused to Lead A Dying Church on an impulse when looking for a devotional for the staff meeting last week, and have been rereading the stories in this book about congregations with near-death experiences.
Paul Nixon, the author, set out the following 6 points for churches who seek new life.
- Choosing life over death
- Choosing community over isolation
- Choosing fun over drudgery
- Choosing bold over mild
- Choosing frontier over fortress
- Choosing now rather than later
These points would be interesting to discuss if anyone is interested.
There are stories about 15 congregations in this book including a synagogue and I am re-reading them. At the end of each story, the congregation involved provided Nixon with what he calls postcards. One postcard that poked me stated: “We had to confront our fears and grieve our past before we could embrace our opportunities! It feels relevant to St. Andrew’s and I wonder how well the grieving was done. I believe the fears have been confronted. Another postcard was: “Do not try to be something other than what you are. Be authentic!” I wonder if I was pushing St. Andrew’s to be something other than what you are. I am not sure about what “authentic” means for St. Andrew’s. After a bit more than a year here, I am realizing that I see so many faces of St. Andrew’s that I am not sure who you really are, if there is still any sense of a single “who” for St. Andrew’s.
Thoughts to consider.