The winners write the history…

March 7th, 2012 by James Mills

Today I was reading an article about my old church. It was talking about their move to their new, larger facilities. It was your typical “feel good” story and I have to confess that I have mixed emotions about this.

Of course, I am very happy that the group of people that stayed are finally getting what they want. And I am extremely happy that the place that was my church home for many wonderful years will soon be occupied by a new group of people striving to be faithful in their own way.

On the other hand I continue to be puzzled by the craving that so many church people have for “bigger.” I know how that story gets narrated over and over. And even though I have heard it a thousand times,  it still surprises me to hear it. As I think about the church being a body, I find it difficult to celebrate so much church growth talk as it reminds me of Manuel Uribe.

But I think the must frustrating part reading the article was the quote about the time of transition from the old leadership team that I was a part of to the present leadership team. According to the article, at the time of the transition the church had dwindled to 60-70 members who were considering selling the building. As one who was part of some of the conversations that were taking place at that time, I don’t recall things the same way. In fact, I am sure if I were to tell the story of the transition it would be completely different than the way the current group narrates their own history.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: regardless of all the many good things that people will say about the change that took place in that congregation, more was lost than gained when it comes to the ecclesiastical landscape of my hometown. There was something that was taken away that has yet to be reclaimed in this area. I suppose that doesn’t really matter when the winners write the history. For whatever its worth, a handful of us losers will still keep looking for it.



Categories: Ecclesial Dreaming...

One Response to “The winners write the history…”

  • James says:

    Meanwhile, over at the always insightful Knightopia blog:

    According to Charles, “The average small church requires about $220,000 to exist with a clergy person, and I am not sure Generations X and Y are willing to pay the bills required for their wedding photos to be well-staged. I love our churches. … But I think the future of the church will be house-churches which use the church building as a meeting house.”

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