Logo

 

Banner Image:   Baptist-Times-banner-2000x370-
Template Mode:   Baptist Times
Icon
    Post     Tweet

Will autumn damage the health of your church? 

John Rackley questions the demands many churches place on themselves at this time of the year

Busy500Autumn is a time when many organisations re-start after their summer break.  As well as being a time for starting new ventures, each Sunday seems to have some special focus for prayer or mission.

It rightly reflects the education start of the year, but I wonder what sort of witness this may be to the approaching Kingdom of God and the Church as a sign of God’s way of being community. Are we becoming an image of our society’s worship of speed, consumption and ‘success at any cost’?

It has been said that Baptist churches can suffer from anxious activism. We have to be seen to be doing something at all costs. It is as if Jesus told his disciples to see the wonderful harvest God had prepared and start a feeding frenzy.

I wonder whether the way we handle autumn contributes to Christian burnout, and I reflected on this in prayer recently:
 
 
Lord, it was good to worship you this morning.
It was good worship.
Joyful song,
profound prayer.
with an astute sermon.
But why did I come out worried?
worried for this church,
worried for the minister,
worried for the leadership.
 
It was the way the service began.
The Notices-
Well, that’s what they used to call them.
They were all about what was going to happen next month.
Poor little August had had its moment,
September loomed over us
full of promise and .... threat;
what we weren’t going to do was nobody’s business.
Sorry; everybody’s business.
 
It was so - US
So
Not
THEM
Or
YOU.
 
Lord
I pray for regional ministers dashing around their patch,
I pray for leaders constantly on the look-out for volunteers,
I pray for newly-settled ministers already burdened with harvest time-expectation.
I pray for the people who had a bright idea last March and are now nervously
waiting its outcome this October.
I pray for the people who will say ‘yes’ too many times and the others who will
be misunderstood for saying ‘no’.
I pray for those who will call for a prayer meeting and finding it up against too many other
occasions ‘which need our time’.
I pray for some who will haunted by ‘what happened last year’ and others who just wish
‘something new would happen this year’.
 
Lord, I am convinced and delighted
that the harvest is still great;
let the light of your work
brighten our faith and calm our effort
 so we do not become
a beacon of burnt-out endeavour.

 

 
John Rackley is a Baptist minister. He also blogs on http://windingquest.wordpress.com/

On 5 October John leads a Quiet Day on the theme of Holy Simplicity at Launde Abbey. It will explore the virtue of an uncluttered life which challenges the fraught busyness that unsettles the faith of so many Christians and undermines the quality of Church witness and worship.




Picture: Elevation Church





 

Baptist Times, 16/09/2015
    Post     Tweet
It struck me that we can learn some spiritual lessons from Captain Tom's life that will stand us in good stead for our own lives. By Darren Blaney
A reflection on the place of faith within a culture and history and how we understand the place of the church in the wider world. By Ruth Gouldbourne
The Gospel has been known to make grown men tremble but that is not enough. Repentance and faith in Jesus are required.
Andy Percey introduces his new book exploring the human need to find a group of people who will accept and welcome us
“Wilderness” is a rich and layered idea in the Old Testament - reflecting on it may offer some helpful ways forward as we seek to engage with Lent this year. By Helen Paynter
Baptist minister Patrick Coghlan introduces his latest book, a resource of reflections and prayers for those who have entered into retirement and later life
     The Baptist Times 
    Posted: 01/03/2021
    Posted: 26/02/2021
    Posted: 22/02/2021
    Posted: 12/02/2021
    Posted: 10/02/2021
    Posted: 28/01/2021
    Posted: 21/01/2021
    Posted: 20/01/2021
    Posted: 04/01/2021
    Posted: 17/12/2020
    Posted: 08/12/2020
    Posted: 03/12/2020
    Posted: 30/11/2020
    Posted: 20/11/2020
    Posted: 16/11/2020
    Posted: 12/11/2020
    Posted: 14/10/2020
    Posted: 06/10/2020
    Posted: 05/10/2020
    Posted: 24/09/2020
    Posted: 23/09/2020
    Posted: 15/09/2020
    Posted: 06/09/2020