The Biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The pastor's responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God. it is this responsibility that is being abandoned in spades.
Eugene Peterson, from Working the Angles.
I found this quote on a site called Epic Fail Pastors Conference. It's one of several quotes sliding past on the front page of the site. This Conference is aimed at those ministers who are sick of the kind of conferences that feature air-brushed guys who've been to the gym a lot and who run mega-churches that don't know the meaning of the word 'failure.' I suspect it could be very 'successful.'
The Out of Ur blog offers some of the thinking behind the Conference:
-What if we offered a space that is gutsy, hopeful, courageously vulnerable for pastors to let go of the burden to be a Super Pastor?Sounds like the type of conference that many Kiwi pastors could do with attending. Note the key word in the 'thinking': faithfulness.
-What if we could hold an event that was free from the thrills and frills of other pastors conferences?
-What if we came together as epic failures and sought not successful models or how-do’s but instead celebrated faithfulness in ministry because of the reality of Jesus?
-What if we were reminded that we’re not responsible for being ‘successful’ in ministry, but we are responsible for being faithful to the calling that God has laid out for us – regardless of the outcome?
-What if we had a conference that was not led not by famous pastors who are household names, but by scandalously ordinary ministers and leaders who are faithfully attempting to join with God – even in the midst of glaring obscurity and anonymity?
I have to include one of the comments from the Out of Ur site in relation to this post:
Hi, I'm Jarrod and I'm a failed pastor.
(Everyone: "Hi, Jarrod.")
I'm a recovering megachurch staffer. But it's been 67 days since I attended my last "How you can do what I did" conference, and I've been reading Jean Vanier every day since.
I can't wait to see what I will learn at the Epic Failure gathering. Maybe I'll find a sponsor.
There are several other equally good comments...check them out!
Poster by Sean MacEntee