Here’s an excerpt from a book entitled, “Interim Ministry in Action” (A handbook for Churches in Transition, by Norman B. Bendroth). I thought this passage was worth sharing. —Kim Bohley
“Each congregation has its own Once Upon a Time story. It’s their own story of unique origins, peaks and valleys, revered pastors, history- shaping events, bad behavior, and significant ministry that has touched people in their community and around the globe. That story is to be cher- ished and to be learned from.
Churches, like people, have a worldview or a certain disposition. A worldview is an overall belief system, the grid that orders all of life. It is the disposition or posture by which we interpret our world and out lives, being guided by our theology, upbringing, and life-shaping personal and historical events. Some churches and people are inherently pessimistic and look at the world through Good Friday lenses, while others take on the optimistic Easter view of life.
A transitional period is time to remember those stories and unearth any latent worldviews. It is a time to bring forward the lessons and behaviors from when we were at our best and to own and learn from those times when we were not at our best. Looking at our story without rose-colored glasses is just as important as not seeing it through night-vision goggles. It wasn’t and isn’t always rosy, nor was it or is it always dark. It was deeply human, as people trying to be Christ followers stumbled along the moil and toil of daily life.
In spite of our flawed humanity, I think the best days of the church lie ahead—that is, if churches are willing to do the hard work of adapting to a new culture and finding a new way of doing church and mission. It will not be easy. Churches tend to be conservative institutions, resisting new and unfamiliar territory. Sometimes it seems the Holy Spirit has to move through twelve committees to get anything done.”
“Interim Ministry In Action” Bendroth Pg. 146-147