Triple R Trivia

In case you are curious, my initials are RRR, thus triple R. In case you’re not curious, just don’t bother reading this!
Anyway, here are two questions that came to my attention through the grapevine.

How available are you to our church?
I am as available as you want me to be. In other words, every church that has contacted me over the past two years with a request for my service received a response. Whether it was a phone conversation or a visit to a church, I have tried to be available. Now, my style is not to push myself into a church, but rather to respond to invitations and try to work out a mutually agreeable date. I heard someone say a long time ago, “If I’m too big for the small churches, then I’m too small for the large churches.” I agree with that.

I realize I must provide balance to my job. A great deal of administration needs to happen at my desk. But part of the balance is being available to our churches. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not asking to come to any church, but merely responding to a question regarding my availability. I am simply a servant of the church. Now, make no mistake about it: if I come to your church, I will cast the vision God has given me for this denomination. If you don’t know what that is by now, read the previous blog entry.

What if I am at a church that is not growing. Will I be replaced, moved, etc.? Do I have any job security?
It is no secret by now that I really do want to see the Church of the United Brethren grow. Does that mean that every church will grow? Probably not. Some are in very poor locations for growth, and if relocation is not feasible, then probably there will be no growth. Some are controlled by “church bosses” who are more interested in getting their way than reaching lost people. Unless the power block can be broken, probably there will be no growth. If you are a pastor at one of these churches and you are content to stay in that situation, then you’ll probably be left alone.

What I really have a hard time understanding is why a pastor would be content to be in a situation like that. If you are, and you think you could lead a church to growth by reaching unchurched, then let me know. I’ll try to get you slotted in a situation where you can make that happen.

If you are in a church that really would like to grow but your pastoral leadership is not making that happen, let me know. We will either work with the pastor to refocus the ministry to reach unchurched people or we will find another pastor.

I have come to the conclusion that not only are there churches that don’t want to grow, but some pastors don’t care if their church grows or not. I hope these two are together, because they deserve each other. But if there are pastors that really want to lead a growing ministry or if there are churches that really would like to have a growing ministry, I am committed to trying to resource both so that it can happen.

I guess here is my bottom line: if the church is not growing and the congregation and pastor are okay with that, I probably won’t interfere. But if the church is not growing and either the congregation or pastor is not content with that, I will work to resource the church and/or restation the pastor. Of course, there are always cases where the pastor and congregation have a hard time getting along, be it personality, vision conflict, ineptness, poor performance, etc. Those would have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

But again, my bottom line is that I’d like to see as many of our churches as possible be growing by reaching the unchurched. I am not all that interested in growing by taking sheep from someone else’s sheepfold.

I hope that answers some of the questions that have come to me “round about.” By the way. I am pretty approachable. If you have a question, call me or email me.

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