Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's Clunky but it Works

Parish life is clunky. Five confirmands need Bibles signed and certificates inscribed and all tests read and returned. The council meeting needs follow-up details and meetings to assign and clairfy tasks. Prospective brides want to meet with me about potential wedding plans here. Keys are missing and rooms are cold. Lights are left on and a young person is depressed.
Yet couples are heading off on a marriage retreat, some young people are taking off on a mission adventure. A family is out of the country serving in missions. Some marriages have broken up and new people are stepping forward for prayer.
The local church is not a smooth operation. We drop the ball a lot of times, miss a cue, and bump into each other by mistake. We are not like the glossy magazine churches. We have sputtering Christians that are sometimes magnifcent and sometimes mediocre. Some of my sermons soar and others sink.
But we go on serving, loving and believing...like this old truck I saw by the side of the road in Kenya. It isn't real pretty, but it works and the job gets done.
As a local pastor I hear all sorts of suggestions how we really ought to do things a lot better, clearer, more efficiently and effectively. I'm recomended to clinics and seminars, books, journals and conferences that will revolutionize the way we do ministry. There is always another new next best thing out there. And there are some fine new ideas we need to embrace. There are higher levels of effectiveness we need to aspire to reach.
But the gospel clunks along. God's Spirit indwells normal men and women and young people and gets the job done. I like this old truck. It won't win any races or show-room competitions. But if you are stuck in a mud-hole or broken down during the night, this old clunky truck will get the job done.


At 5:07 AM , Blogger Ruth Kelley said...

Amen - thank you Don. May we continue to recognize that we look like that truck and run only because of God's grace. I love it.

At 10:06 AM , Blogger Dan said...

I like it... here is one of my favorite quotes these days, "The church is not an invisible entity; she is the, if anything, all too visible gathering of sinners around the loaf and cup. What is invisible is that this visible entity is in fact what she claims to be, the people of God." When the suggestions and passionate appeals to become the local manifestation of the "spit and polished" version of the church down the road come around, I just hope we aren't covering up what we really are.


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