Interim Workshop: Ministry and Church Closure
Requesting resource for process of discernment that includes prayer and silence for individual and/or i.e. the church.
FCC: check out “Listening Hearts"
Resources from the Center for Parish Devlopment may be useful,whether for interim time or other modules. Also a local spiritual director could be helpful; I am grateful to have that background myself to guide churches in these unfamiliar practices.
"Listening Hearts" also good, as Mark recommends!
And “Grounded in God”
Discerning God’s Will Together, Olsen
I think that point is extremely important. Most organisms resist change at the time of greatest stress. Perhaps it begins by helping manage anxiety.
I am thinking that there comes a time in a languishing congregation when all you can do is group spiritual direction and grief work...
But having a congregation make a decision, or at least face their future realistically and even creatively, feels far better than one that remains stuck. Head in the sand.
Yes, Kate. Even bible study and board meetings, for me, turned into different approaches to grief work.
Could you provide resources on alternative models of ministry?
I’m also not sure how many closure ministries or how many interims or how many revitalizing/designated pastorates any single minister has in him/her.
Doesn’t that depend on the disposition and stamina of said minister, Jean?
I’m sure it does. But any stats or research on this?
and also their self awarness of their passion / energy
I’d be interested in seeing that if it exists
Gail cafferta is writing a book now on how pastors who do this take care of themselves and survive to go on to further ministry.
Gail Cafferata has also written a blog on clergy stress as well as an article which I will highlight in my presentation
I closed a church with an 8-7 vote. There is nothing more significant that I wish I had done but to say “this is not a decision, lets talk about this again next week and see where we are”. They were never going to all agree but I still wish I pushed for more time.
Along with this list of wisdom, I needed to be involved in about five support/cont. ed/ clergy peer groups across those years.
Jean yes—in the last three months I had a mentor call me *as I left church each sunday* so that I could try to not take their depression into me.
Sorry Gail, Jonathan- back to your comment about finding mission. We are in churches alive and determining how to go forward. Most in the church are "survive at-all-costers. We are a missionless church aside from our own survival. i am a 3 year designated. I have tressed finishing the right mission as vital...but we are small and need to focus our energy together on mission so I have held the new mission coordinator back on exploring the many many ideas she has until we get to our second phase of churches alive and have better awareness about "who we (really) are"... should I allow or even encourage some mission discussion now before we enter discernment? It feels like putting the cart waaay before the horse, and I am trying to keep the focus on discernment...does this make sense?
Can we talk a minute about the financial picture of churches and reading the signs and symptoms of threshold churches.
It also takes a toll on the Leader's spouse / partner / family
Yeh. I found myself not wanting to be the last picture of the clergy on the wall in the parlor - “the one who closed the church.”
Korte, great question! I think, from experience, that doing a little experimenting, framed as such, gives a chance to tast the possibilities, feeds interest/energy, and gives folks a way to explore using their gifts for activity who are less inclined to contemplative discerning....
Quentin Chin has made a great matrix for helping to asses this $$ piece
Chris, where is this matrix?
You would have to contact him directly, I don't know how public it is or is'nt
That's my feeling Jonathan...limited energy and people doing multiple things as it is.
resources mentioned here are excellent! can the list provided?
I see it, Malcolm. others?
As has been pointed out, none of the churches Paul began still exist. Yet see the legacy that has followed them, the world over! We can be intentional about how we further God's dream even in closure....
Malcolm - TECH HOST
Yes, Dave Schoen said this!
Can you resend the PDF of Living Legacy workbook?
Who takes old church records and archives? Suggestions of how to pass them on?
I wish we had planned to visit congregations together either in the weeks after closing or for a few weeks just before the closing worship.
Thank you all for the shared wisdom
Thank you Malcolm, Gail, Jonathan and David! Blessings and Grace to all
Prayers for all who engage in this critical work, blessing and peace to all
Thank you, presenters, for your practical advice in sensing the potential for closure and working with that!
Thank you all!