03 October 2008

Feelin' Friday, Not Francis or Five

I'm just not feelin' the Friday Five at RevGals today. Nothing wrong with it, mind you - I'm just not feelin' it today. Not sure why.

Maybe it has something to do with the conversation I accidentally read on Facebook this morning. You know the saying, "Never listen at a keyhole, lest ye be vexed?" Literally, that means "Don't eavesdrop or you might hear something you wouldn't like." But the first sounds so much more Poor Richard's Almanac, don't you think? Anyway...

Facebook occasionally posts conversations your friends have with each other. This morning Facebook posted a wall post by student who's been here at the Center, talking excitedly about worship at another ministry here in town. I was crushed for just a little bit. It's one thing to say, as I often have, "It's better for you to be spiritually fed at someone else's place than to be miserable and starving here with us." It's another thing entirely to see it possibly happening. I know I'm supposed to be more mature than this, but with all of us pastors there is that small boy or girl who desparately wants to be liked. It's like I'm forever in sixth grade!

In our noon book study group, we were talking about faithful church life involving sacrifice and willingness to serve one's neighbor. What if the sacrifice includes admitting that we cannot be all things to all people? As much as I believe that we've got a good thing going here at the Lutheran Center, it's not going to be the means of grace to everyone who walks through the door, and if we try to be, we're going to wind up being nothing to everyone. Maybe Paul could be all things to all people, but I can't, and I don't think it's healthy for any church to try to be.

I think this kind of self-awareness and self-confidence is part of the journey toward mature Christian faith. If we are indeed here to serve, then we must hold all things and all people lightly. Marriages where the partners manipulate and guilt-trip their partners into staying usually end in disastrous failure: can we expect the church to be any different?

Thanks, God, it's Friday. That's enough weighty thoughts for the week. I'm going home! :-)


  1. That would make me feel crummy, too. Thanks for your kind words over at my place.

  2. I stumbled onto your blog somehow...I just started clicking blogs that others were reading and I ended up here.

    In any case, I REALLY needed to read your post today. I'm experiencing the same thing at my congregation. My inner 6th grader is comforted to know that I'm not the only one with this struggle.

  3. Another pastor struggling with her inner 6th grader here. Thank you for posting this.

  4. well said! you're an intuitive guy... you'll know when the inner 6th grader needs to back off or calm down...

    it can be a mighty fine line, and if we're honest, part of every pastor's struggle to try and not keep up with the joneses' church.

  5. Rats, man. Hang in there. You rock.