Part 2: What Road Signs Are You Seeing in Your Ministry?

We invited several pastors to reflect on “road signs” they’re seeing in their ministry and here’s what they had to say:


“What if we aren’t supposed to drive cars on paved roads with orderly signs?” 
Reflection by: Jim Truesdell

 

“Pictured above are trail markers in the Adirondack State Park in New York. These are the trails of my college and 20 something years. These yellow, blue and green discs mark the trails through one of the most amazing wilderness areas East of the Mississippi. The largest state park in the country! So while you can see some of the Adirondack mountains from Interstate 87, you can’t be present in a place of awe, quiet and wonder from the interstate in ‘safety’ of a car. These trail markers lead to wild places. Places that can’t be controlled or managed with rubber on the asphalt. Navigated, yes. But not as the master of your destiny plotting the fastest route to another place but as a migrating bird, a spawning trout or snowflakes that melt on mountains and find their way to the valley. Instinct given by the Maker. These trail signs get us to places where our instinctive navigation patterns bring us to our hearts true home.

At the risk of pushing a metaphor way beyond what was intended, What if the church in 2019 is trying desperately to lead people to places of awe, quiet and community with the Holy Spirit on roads with cars when we should be finding ways into the wilderness? What are we missing inside our bubbles of plastic, steel and rubber? No matter how the good the roads, signs and cars they never seem to get us to the wild places. And even if we carve a path and expand the concrete jungle (You CAN nearly drive your car to the top of White Face Mountain) something dies in the process. There may have been a time when we could make disciples of Jesus with precise theological distinctives, well trained clergy, buildings and programs. Now a days, I have profound doubts about it.”

 

Bridge Freezes Before Road
Reflection by: Amy Starr Redwine

“In a new call, I’ve been thinking a lot about how different seasons in the life of a church (or pastor) call for different strategies — just as certain road conditions require different driving skills. I am trying not to jump to conclusions too quickly, or think I know just how this road is going to be because I think I’ve been on a road like it before, and trying to be mindful of the uniqueness of this present moment.”

 

Slow Down!
Reflection by: Keith Grogg

“I’ve occasionally found myself moderating session meetings wherein we have gone whizzing past a speed limit sign at a rate that was neither reasonable nor prudent, as the notoriously vague signs posted in Montana said in the late 1990s. Usually this is in response to an aggressive driver trying to manipulate us into going too fast–‘I’ll endow your music department or mission program with a major gift, but you have to accept my terms immediately or no deal.’ That backseat driver urging us to floor it is not always the voice of the Holy Spirit. Speed limits are usually set for a reason, and I’ve been behind the wheel of some meetings when we didn’t slow down and think things all the way through, and that’s when we get ourselves in trouble or, worse, people end up getting hurt.”

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