November 4, 2010

There's a hole in my church dear Liza

There is a big hole in my front yard. Hole may well be an understatement. What I really have is the making of an excellent moat, or perhaps a good fox hole if WWIII breaks out soon, and in Bedford. Apparently there has been a long standing problem with the sewer pipes that they have decided to fix. I'm happy they decided to fix it now, because we have not yet had a problem with the pipes backing up; I gather the last few tenants have not been so lucky.

Never the less there is a big hole in my front yard. It is inconvenient, ugly, cumbersome, and it is preventing things from working right. It occurred to me as I drove into my drive way that I have no idea if I am missing mail. My mail boxed is on the other side of the hole by my front door. I know neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor dark of night will stop my mailman, but what about a moat?

But you know this hole had been making me think of my church. There is a big hole in the middle of my church. It has swallowed up almost everyone between the ages of 15-45. And that makes things inconvenient, ugly, cumbersome and it is preventing things from working right. This would bother me if it was only my church, but the tragedy is a lot of churches have this hole too. And these holes seem to be growing.

It admittedly scares me. I read a book some time ago titled I Refuse Lead Dying Church by Paul Nixon. While this was hardly the best book I've read in the last few years, Nixon painted a frightening picture. If someone was entering into ministry in their 20's now, given current trends, they could be the person that closes and locks the last Mainline or Evangelical church door forever. That could be (by age definition) me!

Sometimes I feel like we are in a type of song, a lot like "There's a Hole in My Bucket" Like Henry many, if not all, notice there is a hole in our church! And than any number of Liza's offer solutions to fix said hole. The sad thing is like the song many of us keep playing to role of Henry, finding reason after reason why the proposed solutions will not work.

I'm sure I am often playing the part of 'Henry' and not enough Liza. There are days when I find more excuses than solutions. I don't know if Paul Nixon's 6 proposed solutions will work. But I do know we need to listen to those Liza's out there who are telling us; fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it!


  1. I went to a church two weeks ago. The preacher was incredible! The music was phenomenal. The seats were pretty much filled. There were children who went up for the children's story. But as I looks around, I noticed that there were very VERY few people my age. In fact, most of the congregation were seniors.

    I was all of a sudden really grateful for West End and for the ability I have to fellowship with people my age, in my life circumstance.

    Anyway, great post again!

  2. I hear you Laura. I am grateful that we have people who a little older having just dealt with what we are doing now AND that we have people who are close to our age to form friendships and shared experiences.