Dear Pastor, It is okay to mourn your church.

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man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair

I had just finished a Zoom meeting with some area ministers.  The third Tuesday of every month is a time for us to gather over a meal and encourage each other in ministry.  As we were discussing some of the challenges in this new way of doing ministry.  As one pastor put so elegantly, “I’m finding out how much I am missing my congregation.”

Ministry is full of challenges.  I had heard on the pastor say that when he was in seminary, the professor proclaimed, “Ministry would be fun if there were no people.”  Before COVID-19, this statement would have gotten a few laughs and nods, but as the comment was said, there was no laughing, just a hollowness in our hearts and minds.  We may not miss the negativity, the gossip, the hurtful anonymous letters, and the personality conflicts.  But what we do miss, is the voice, eyes, touch, presence of an individual, even if that same individual has wronged you.

I have seen ministers who have defied government orders by still having services in their buildings.  I have seen pastors who have had criticism from the community, by doing a drive-in service; some even had had the police called on them.  Some pastors sit by the phone to receive updates from congregants who have been hospitalized while some preach a eulogy to a camera in an empty funeral home chapel, as no one has come out for services in fear of getting sick.

I get it.

I get that you love your church members

I get that you feel lost when you can not do a visitation, or go to the hospital, or preach a sermon in an empty sanctuary (or in your home)

I think of the parable of the lost sheep, except instead of one missing, its the whole flock that has been separated in separate areas while the shepherd is, for better or worst, trying to reach and feed the sheep under his/her care in new ways and, if we are being honest, you are completely lost.

So my suggestion to you, pastor, is to grieve.  Go somewhere and grieve this loss.  Go and grieve the simple handshakes, nudges, smiles, bump-ins, that most pastors take for granted.  Also, remember that your flock is not missing, they are just confined and they mourn too.  They miss you, and one day, they will be back and the church body will (hopefully) be stronger and united than ever, in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Episode 78: The Boys, Government, & Evangelicalism

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Episode 78: The Boys, Government, & Evangelicalism

 

In this episode, Scott continues his thoughts on last week’s episode by looking at the Amazon Original, “The Boys” and the toxic relationship between the Government and Evangelicals.

Episode 70: Reflections on the United Methodist Church General Conference 2019

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Episode 70: Reflections on the United Methodist Church General Conference 2019

On this episode, Scott and special guest, Caleb Henry, discuss the details of what went down at the United Methodist Conference 2019 from the detailed plans to what is next for the UMC.

Miley Cyrus helps Homeless LBGT teens; another reason why the church has failed

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I woke up this morning to clean the house a bit before i have my epic nerd game night filled with marvel legendary and other fun games.  But like most people, i decided to check facebook to see what was going on with my family, friends, church members, etc.  I usually look at the trending sidebar and looked at the Captain American Civil War Movie, The new National Lampoon’s Vacation, and the day MJ made me cry with The Shot.

As I was looking at what is trending, I saw that Miley Cyrus had started a Foundation to help homeless LBGT teens.  As i was reading the article, and I thought to myself, “How come the Christian Community is not doing this (There may be some christian organizations out there, but i don’t know of any)?”

Looking back at church history, everyone would go to the church to get help and to find rest.  Heck, if you wanted to start a business you would have to go through the church to do so.  Now I’m not saying we should go back to a church being a bank, but whatever people needed, they would go to the church for assistance, help, guidance, etc.  Today, it seems like the church has loss it’s reputation to being a place of healing, rest, and/or protection.

Regardless of what your view is on the LBGT community, the church has a responsibility to help those who are in need.  When we stop helping, we stop being the image of Christ, thus we stop being the church.

Jesus had strict teaching on helping others.

He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”(Mat 25:33-1 NIV)

So the question is, are you a sheep or a goat?