My dear friends, like the Apostle Paul, I find writing is best at times when there is a great deal to be said and ears are too busy or too distracted to listen. Like Paul, I suspect some will see writing this letter as the controlling way to handle differences. After all, you can’t talk back to a letter, can you?
You are so lost and have no clue of the level of your lostness. There is so much we could be doing for the Lord, but you are too busy trying to keep a system in place that is, at best, ineffective and at most, dead. Why won’t you listen?
It’s not as if the entire situation is your fault. You certainly have your share of burdens that created reasons for you to be so inwardly focused. Please wake up. I tried telling your shepherd that I believed God was providing a vision in your crumbling building. As with the biblical example of the withering fig tree, God will burn what is not productive. Please wake up. Your shepherd chose to flee. The bright new building does not hide your desperation of soul.
I suspect he, and maybe you, sees the problem as so overwhelming that it is better to ignore it or minimize it as opposed to CHANGE it. It is easier blame someone else – especially those of us who point out: Deer Park, you have a problem.
There are families and children around you that are dying in their lostness. Can’t you see the need in your Jerusalem?
You are worried about how old your new shepherd will be more than you are worried about how barren your womb has become.
Your first step should be to stop the search immediately. Please, please, please think outside the coffin-like box you have created in your own mind. Do not let the one with love for your congregation walk away! Think more broadly! Think about the future. You must have someone who is aware of the history but who is willing to be the bridge to a brighter future!
Transition and training: Use the experienced one to “bring up” the younger. Appoint one while you search for the young shepherd needing to learn how to lead. The loving experienced one can help you mend until that time. That is your only hope for a future.
Well, that or simply dissolve and merge with someone in the neighborhood that actually knows what they are doing.
I love you. Truth hurts. Don’t get mad. Get fired up! You will either rekindle the flame on your end of town or you will burn out never to be seen again.
What's it going to be, friends?