Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
One of the things I was taught in seminary was that the priest is to not center things around them. In leading a congregation and in storytelling. Our focus is Jesus. Our guidance is Scripture. Our resources are the church, tradition, and one another.
Sometimes this teaching seems opposite the leadership gurus whose books dominate the book store. Other times, this has stood against congregational expectations.
So, as an offering to others, please indulge a personal thought, knowing it fits within our moment—both in our world and in the lectionary!
I’ve spent years focused on productivity, effectiveness, and viral communication. And there’s something never-ending about it all. Like there is no end to having to do it. And as much as we sacrifice ourselves to it (like a God), it will never be satisfied. There is always more to do.
I suspect that what I’m finding the hard way, and observing in many of those around us, is the realization that we were right in recognizing that we aren’t perfect. But we were wrong in thinking we could change that through productivity tricks. Not because we can’t change (and therefore we shouldn’t try—which is a truly terrible conclusion) but because we think we can do it alone. Without other people. And by sheer will alone.
We need each other. Community. And that is where everything starts.