I started out today by meeting with a senior who told me why she’s no longer attending Richview. (To her credit, she’s leaving very gracefully.) I then attended a funeral, where I met someone who recognized me. “I came to Richview for a while, but we decided to go to another church – no offense.” “Hey, no problem,” I replied. “We’re all on the same team.” I then caught up on a lot of detail work in the office all afternoon. Not the best day, but a day that led to me to read a bit of Working the Angles by Eugene Peterson once again:
The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. They are preoccupied with shopkeeper’s concerns – how to keep the customers happy, how to lure customers away from competitors down the street, how to package the goods so that the customers will lay out more money… The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The pastor’s responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God. It is this responsibility that is being abandoned in spades.
Memo to self: Read more Peterson. Stay attentive to God. Do more than mind the shop.