(This entry is part of an ongoing collection of blogs that examine the future of congregations post-COVID19. Each entry forms itself around a question looking for clarity or even answers.)
I wonder who will do the necessary work of bringing congregations into the new post-COVID contexts for churches. Some possibilities…
People out to pasture
An interesting idiomatic expression, hmm? Horses and employees are sent out to graze after they seemingly lose their usefulness. Some horses and some people don’t agree with the “washed-up” assessment, and so continue with new tasks in their new venues. Big secret: This can be a satisfying way to live.
Inside this loose metaphor could be this possibility, one you already know well: Those of us who are grazing our way through retirement may still have what it takes to keep congregations running well. We have time, wisdom and experience. Maybe resources, too?
Congregations thrive because of pastors. Although at times this vocation can be difficult and disheartening, pastors remain integral to equipping the saints, proclaiming the Word and maintaining a congregations’ supportive and caring spirit. As post-COVID congregations rediscover realistic ideas about their purpose, pastoring might become a manageable calling again.
With the assistance of his wife Marie, Louis Pasteur was a 19th century chemist, bacteriologist and inventor whose vaccine discoveries and other practical applications of germ theory changed the lives of millions. His powers of observation and creative spirit helped him see what others had missed. His curious experimentation created new ways of thinking—about the production of wine and cheese, milk production, silkworm diseases, anthrax and rabies.
Post-COVID congregations will need beyond-the-nine-dots thinkers and tinkerers. People who can see past the ordinary, who invent processes and structures that match the realities of this time in history. Pasteurs are can-do people—and they’re out there in our churches!
So, to those who are pastors, Pasteurs and out-to-pasture folks: We’ve got this one. Let’s get to work….
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