Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's a spiritual problem, not a business problem

All the money managers, all the marketing experts, all the advertising and good business practices are worthless without first, before anything else, the people immersing themselves deeply in spiritual practices: prayer, Bible study, waiting on God, self sacrifice, generosity, extravegent hospitality, treating "the Jesus story like it really happened, and is really happening still".

Unless every woman, man and child is committed to learning and practicing these practices, all the best money/business manager clergy and even all the most pastoral and gifted clergy, all the marketing, the advertising, the increased rental of the building won't amount to anything.

Christians are baptized to be living stones. We are baptized to live as though the Jesus story - the birth, life, death and resurrection - is real, here, now. The catch is that without death, there is no resurrection. And resurrection looks nothing like the previous life. Jesus was not recognized by anyone until he did or said something that he had done before his death. Then their eyes were opened and they saw the scars from his wounds and they knew it was him.

If you will die to the expectation that everything will remain the same if only management or business practices were better, you will have a chance at resurrection, as a new thing, in a new form, the old, ancient practices becoming new to you - prayer, study of scripture, wrestling with God and the Word of God with one another, extravagent hospitality and generosity, and regularly and faithfully continuing in the apostles' fellowship, the breaking of bread, the worship and the prayers.


Barbara said...

This is raising a whole list of "what ifs" for me. To see each experience with new eyes is a challenge. I am in a position to accept that there is challenge; I don't know how well I will handle it. I am willing to try.

FranIAm said...

Rev Lois - wow, this is great. Thanks for your thought provoking words here today.