Thursday, December 7, 2006

Parishes in Trouble: Five Myths Debunked

In the most recent issue of Gottesdienst magazine, Dr. Burnell F. Eckardt, Jr. continues an article he began in the previous issue regarding pastors and parishes in troubling situations. Apparently he received more letters in response to this than of any other he had written, leading him to believe that this situation may be more widespread and pandemic than first realized by many. I share with you here the "myths" he debunks, and welcome your response. The website for Gottesdienst is here.

Five Myths:
1.) The first myth is the assertion that the pastor in a troubled parish is a pure oddity, a singularly awful example of a Christian leader, and that's why our church is in such trouble.
2.) The second myth is the assertion that if you had only done things a little more slowly or carefully, you wouldn't have had all this trouble.
3.) Th third myth is the idea that if you can't get through to many of the people here, maybe it's time you moved on.
4.) The fourth myth is the notion that parishes which have grown smaller haven't been properly mission-minded.
5.) The fifth myth is the diabolical suggestion that God has abandoned us.

Dr. Eckhardt of course expands on each of these points in his article, which I do not have the space and time to provide at this point. Nevertheless, I think that the myths alone speak volumes. What do you think?

BTW, Eckhardt's blog (Gottesblog) is worth checking out as well!

1 comment:

SWJ said...

1. It is also a myth to suggest that the pastor is never the reason why a church is in trouble.
2. It is also a myth to suggest that pastors should have free reign to make any changes they want within a congregation without consequence.
3. It is also a myth to suggest that all pastors are fit for the parish ministry and that they should stay (due to power and pride) even when God is clearly calling them to serve elsewhere or in a different way.
4. It is also a myth to suggest that parishes which have grown smaller have been properly mission minded.
5. Indeed, God will never abandon His Church, but He clearly does permit some parishes to close their doors, and sometimes the reasons for that are a sinful (e.g., slothful, prideful, impatient, unkind, etc.) pastor.