Thought for the Week

Campbeltown Courier - - DISTRICT NEWS - with Mar­i­lyn Shed­den

It is in­ter­est­ing Je­sus did not ask us to go and build churches; he asked us to go and make dis­ci­ples. Now we have too many churches and too few dis­ci­ples. We have many church build­ings which are only partly full and which are cost­ing an ex­or­bi­tant amount of money to up­keep. We are spend­ing more on build­ings than we are on mis­sion. Is this right? Is this what Je­sus would want? Our churches are pre­cious to us, but can we re­ally jus­tify spend­ing thou­sands of pounds on them when there are so few peo­ple who ac­tu­ally come to wor­ship in them? Min­istry in Ar­gyll is in a state of cri­sis at present with 50 per cent of charges in va­cancy and an ex­pected 75 per cent to be va­cant within an­other year. What do we do? Many small churches have sin­gle fig­ures wor­ship­ping on a Sun­day and the cost of min­istry to sus­tain this is con­sid­er­able. The or­dained min­istry is lim­ited and lay min­istry is be­ing used more and more but even this is be­ing spread very thin as de­mands are re­quired in so many places. There seems to be no answer to this if we con­tinue to think of min­istry as we have al­ways done. We have to try to catch a vi­sion of how min­istry could be. We may not be able to see this far ahead, but we have to go for­ward in faith. God told Abra­ham to leave ev­ery­thing he held dear and go into an un­known fu­ture in faith. Maybe this is how God is call­ing his church. Maybe we have to just move for­ward in hope and trust and see what God will do.

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