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.

  1.  Choosing life over death
  2. Choosing community over isolation
  3. Choosing fun over drudgery
  4. Choosing bold over mild
  5. Choosing frontier over fortress
  6. 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.