Next week there may be a few days’ break from the blog (or there may be more entries than usual) as I am attending a conference for Baptist Ministers in Larger churches. For some readers you may be envisaging churches with a minimum of 1000 members. Well the bar is a little lower.
Not that low!
The threshold is about 200 members.
I realise that for other readers that does seem large. The church I was a member of before coming here had about 25 members.
There are very different dynamics at work. Larger churches should not think that they can exist as large small churches as the demands and opportunities for ministry seem to grow exponentially alongside the size of the church and leadership has to be different otherwise you will burn out. By the same token smaller churches should not think they should be small large churches as they will struggle to maintain the number of ministries and mission opportunities or carry them all out effectively without burning out.
The common factor is that any church has the tendency for those involved to burn out. On 25th October I wrote about Sabbath. This is a theme that God is not letting me drop at the moment. I think that this conference is a very timely one for me and expect God to minister to me in different ways through it. I am treating it a little like a Sabbath. But it is not time off from church, it is taking a look at the church from a different perspective.
We all need to take a sabbatical from reality on a regular basis in order to enable us to see things from a different (God’s?) perspective. That means blocking out the day off in the diary, or if it’s electronic making it a rule for yourself that you do not give up that day easily without moving the time off to elsewhere in the week. It means that I am needing to ask other people to hold me accountable not just for the time I serve God but also for my Sabbath rest.
After all, Jesus invited all those who are weary and heavy laden to come to him so that he could give them…
A sense of importance?
A pat on the back?
A doctor’s note?