It is too easy to hire the next pastor based on not being the “other guy” (the not so great pastor) or being just like the “other guy” (the great pastor). No one should pastor in the shadow of the failures or victories of their predecessor.
Every church has a history and a future. History cannot be changed and the future is unknown.
This statement means something different to everyone who reads it. For some it is a reminder of the difficulties faced and the difficulties that are sure to come. Others remember the good times and expect more of the same. Some view the past in terms of their own personal failings or someone else’s and the future as a chance to avoid making these mistakes again. Others see themselves as a contributing factor to the survival of the church through the years and would like to continue to contribute.
All churches, whether in transition or not, have the same types of people with the same types of views. Some views are accurate, others are a little off the mark, but none assess the church in terms of God’s calling.
History cannot be changed but our view of it can. The future is unknown but how we prepare for the future isn’t. The collective of Christ followers must seek to understand God’s plan for them without interference from unaddressed past issues and unsupported future dreams.
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