Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another Link to the Sidebar...Meet Carol

At the end of this past semester, I was introduced to a new book called Tribal Church. The writer is an alum of my seminary, and now even a Facebook friend. At first I didn't like the title of the book. The word tribal to me suggests exclusion to the tenth degree. Traditionally, tribes do not band together with other tribes; they fight against one another. Tribe also suggests to me a clique. Cliques do not let outsiders in easily. Also outsiders must become like the tribe they are seeking adoption before they can be accepted. So, I was quite surprised about the book's actual premise. The book is great and I enjoyed it a great deal in its practicality and reverence. The book is about the changing needs amongst a new generation of people, and how they approach church. The changes in society reflected in the attitudes and needs of younger adults today must be addressed when it comes to providing them with spiritual nourishment and growth. Her blog gives this description of the book,

"lts today, she describes how churches can provide a safe, supportive place for young adults to nurture relationships and foster spiritual growth. There are few places left in society that allow for real intergenerational connections to be made, yet these connections are vital for any church that seeks to reflect the fullness of the body of Christ.

Using the metaphor of a tribe to describe the close bonds that form when people of all ages decide to walk together on their spiritual journeys, Merritt casts a vision of the church that embraces the gifts of all members while reaching out to those who might otherwise feel unwelcome or unneeded. Mainline churches have much to offer young adults, as well as much to learn from them. By breaking down artificial age barriers and building up intentional relationships, congregations can provide a space for all people to connect with God, each other, and the world."

She is coming up with a new book, set to arrive on the market soon. The new book is titled, "Reframing Hope" due out in August. This book continues to discuss the changing landscape of how we understand "church" in a new time and for a new generation of people. Anyway, I frequet her blog reguarly. So, now here's a formal introduction...(click on the word introduction). Today's post spoke on the burn out of ministers. I'm not officially a minister yet, but doing pulpit supply and interacting with others as a minister, I do feel different. I look at people and life differently. God has changed me from the inside out, so it speak. And let me tell you, change is never easy. And allowing yourself to surrender to God's changes takes a tremendous about of chutzpa (Yiddish for courage but even more so). Without further ado, from today's blog post,

The Professional Loneliness—Clearly, after you become a pastor, going to a party will never be quite the same experience again. There are people who will tell you every problem they have had with religion, or every problem that they have in general. They will apologize for cursing or for drinking. Or they are entirely too happy that you’re a minister. And all of it can make a pastor long to be just an ordinary citizen of the world. The problem becomes compounded when the pastor is single. I recently went to lunch with a wonderful group of clergywomen, who explained that they do not tell guys their profession on the first few dates. They tell them that they work for a non-profit."

Check Carol out. You will not be disappointed.

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