Thursday, February 28, 2008

Old Fart

I feel like a dinosaur.
Wayne Burrows, Wade Britton, Rick Matthews, Ray Dibden, Neville vd Walt, Geoff Ryan, Cedric Muller, Eric Jurgensen, Alan Brews, Charles Villa Vicencio, Errol Grey, Mike Chapman, Pieter Greyling, Yvette Edwards, Vic Smith, Kevin Light, Mike Crommelyn ... names of friends of mine who used to be colleagues. They resigned from being Methodist Ministers and have gone on to other things. And sometimes I feel like a dinosaur because I have stuck around.

I often think of leaving.
I am disappointed by the poor national leadership of this church; I am embarrassed by the theological nonsense spoken by some of my colleagues; I am deeply saddened by the immoral behaviour of some ministers/leaders/preachers; I mourn the unthoughtful churchiness of many of our members; and I long for more Christians to be passionate about justice and righteousness and spiritual integrity. I notice how many really good people have left the confines of organized religion - not only the colleagues mentioned above, but the many, many church members who have moved out. And I know that God has continued to bless the work they do. And I have often thought of leaving too.

But I stay.
I stay because I am convinced that a small bit of yeast can make a difference to the loaf of bread – and I choose to be the yeast in this church. This is not from some sense of self-importance. No, it is rather from a conviction that God has called me to be here. So even though I feel like a dinosaur, I will stay... because this is a calling.


digitaldion (Dion Forster) said...

I'll send my comment to you in an email.

Simply stated, I think that many who leave the church leave because of a calling to the Church...

My moving out of the MCSA is not because I am no longer called, my calling remains strong (and I think many on your list seem to have left precisely because they felt the church was stifling their call).

There is, sadly, a very dark side to 'institutionalism'. I don't think that is the Church, I think that is the stuff of the church.

Thought provoking post.



bugs said...

Dion Has a point, and yes i know that you are not suggesting that God's Call can only be to ministry inside the 'institution', but it is often the institutionality of the church that prevent ministry from happening. I am greatfull however that you have stuck it out in the church for you have enriched my life and ministry. Thank you Pete

Paddy said...

And yet something tells me there is a future, and an exciting one at that. I like the yeast analogy, reminds me of Paul's 'leaven of malice and wickedness' though!

Unknown said...

Hi Pete,
It is the little or the much that the yeast does that counts. Jesus is Enough in what we do where we are called. Some inside the church and even outside but still to the church. The needs are great, just look at the informal areas of harvest, look at the mission fields of Sudan, the plains of the kalahari sands of the Bushmen and the mountains of Lesotho. The needs are great. So I lift up my eyes. I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from GOD, who made heaven, and earth, and the mountains.
Our comfort is doing what we are called to and where we are called to. May you be blessed in your present calling.