The words battered at me.
“No. You need to focus on our own members, not on reaching out.”
“We won’t risk anything for outreach.”
“We need to keep the church open long enough to bury the little old ladies. Then we can close.”
“We’ve tried outreach. Nothing works.”
“That doesn’t count because they don’t give any money.”
For about a week straight, my church leadership effectively told me my job here was to babysit the members until we closed the church. I was to risk nothing – not even time – on outreach, unless it was a sure thing. And as long as it didn’t mean I wasn’t babysitting our members. I was told that our purpose here was to stay open until we buried a requisite number of people, and then close the doors.
And I seethed. I chewed on the comments. I gnawed on them. As I awoke, I dwelled on them and thought of what I should have said, what I could have said, how I wanted to blow up at them, how I wanted to remove them from leadership, how it was time to give up, how it was time to go to war.
To the point that Thursday I met with my pastor, a man who shepherds a nearby congregation. My plan was to request another congregation. If my leadership’s plan was to just stay open long enough to close, they don’t need me for that. If all they want is a babysitter, let’s get them a babysitter.
I said it to some of my friends: “I’m done.” (more…)