In the years since this blog was started, a number of authors have posted about their experiences on a Via de Cristo (Lutheran retreat weekend). The weekend is designed to motivate Christians to become leaders who make a difference in the environments where God has placed them. Here’s a talk I wrote many years ago about what should/could happen after the weekend.
How did you feel after your weekend? If you’re like most people, you returned to your congregation full of enthusiasm and with an increased desire to devote your energies to serving Christ. That’s what’s supposed to happen, right? But how does this play out in reality? Some of the possibilities are not so good. Let me give you a few examples.
- You stop by the Pastor’s office and tell him that you want to serve and you’re willing to do anything. He is thrilled because the Church Council is in dire need of a treasurer. You’ve never done that sort of thing before, but you agree. After all, the Pastor suggested it, and how hard can it be? Three months later, the records are in a muddle, bills aren’t being paid on time, and you are embarrassed and humiliated by your failure. Someone else has to step in to straighten things out and you vow to never take on a church office again!
- You catch the president of the congregation one Sunday in the narthex. “I want to help” you tell him. “What job do you have for me?” He looks surprised and mumbles something along the lines of …”ah… well… let me think about that and get back to you. He never does. You feel hurt and disillusioned and withdraw from congregational activities.
- You raise your hand and volunteer for every project and committee that comes along. By the end of the year you’re exhausted, burned out and telling yourself, “I really need a break from all this church stuff.”
I don’t mean to discourage you, but these things happen. The have happened, in one way or another to people I know and to me. So, what’s wrong with the picture? How can you avoid these pitfalls?
…. to be continued …..
For more about Lutheran Via de Cristo see: