Category Archives: Clergy Health

SPIRITUAL SYNERGY SABBATH (Continued)

now let us focus on our position of ministry

CHURCH/ POSITION OF MINISTRY

In some ways, you are going to repeat this process from the last blog as you reflect on your call to ministry and the institutional realities of your position. You will still be reflecting in the framework of “What if,” and “Imagine that.” However, you can branch out a little. Since you are pausing each week during the summer, you can choose different subjects and areas to reflect on.

I’ll suggest a few but let your imagination go wild. You aren’t committing to a certain action but exploring the implications, both good and bad, of several directions for your church.

WHAT IF, & IMAGINE THAT . . .

  1. “What if your elders took seriously their responsibility as the spiritual leaders of the church?” What are some actions they would take? “Imagine a session meeting in which their interaction focused on how to strengthen the church spiritually.”

2. “What if you and the session placed an emphasis on stewardship for a whole year?’ What are some specific actions that you might take? How might members lives be changed if they accepted their responsibility as stewards of God’s gifts?

3.“What if the church heard Jesus’ command to love one another and that the world would know that we were Jesus’ disciples if we could demonstrate that love for each other.  How would that affect how we approached conflict? Imagine that the church contacted several neighboring churches with that command in mind.

Each week, choose just one of these topics and try to play out the implications. Take notes. Suggest specific actions that would need to be taken. Make note of both benefits and difficulties.

PLAY WITH FICTION

In addition, you might try your hand at writing “a day in the life of the church a year after they accepted ??? as their focus.” If you want a real adventure, invite several of your elders to each write out “a day in the life of . . .” and then share them as a group. Writing fiction allows people to explore different future possibilities and their consequences. It allows more creative thinking without the tension of deciding for one direction or the other.

THE DISCIPLINE OF PAUSING

All of us tend to rush from task to task without pausing to reflect and listen to what the Spirit may be saying to us. When we do stop, we usually are so exhausted that we slip into some mindless activity or fall exhausted into bed.

Here is a discipline of pausing and playing that makes room for inspiration. Out of these sessions, you may want to begin setting some experimental steps and goals around some of the most promising ideas. To paraphrase Viktor E. Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning, If a person has a why, they can endure almost any how. What you are doing in your Spiritual Synergy Sabbaths is pausing to explore some WHYS that can energize you as you look towards the future.

CONSIDER CONTINUING THE DISCIPLINE BEYOND THE SUMMER MONTHS.