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Anxious Pastors Leading Anxious Churches (via Sarah Condon)

Local churches don’t need more people to come along to save them.
They have the task of sharing with others about the one who has already saved them.

From Sarah Condon:

The fact of the matter is that most of our ideas about how to fix the church are terrible, my own included. We over-exaggerate what we can do, and we forget that nothing happens that has not first be named by God. We figure that our ministry du jour will grow the church because we love our latest idea, and if we love it, how can anything be wrong? Well if we love it, then everything can be wrong with it.
All of this makes for anxious pastors leading anxious churches. When we do not care about the ancient of days God who we worship, when we fail to see his hand guiding us, then we have only ourselves, our egos, and our interests to fall back on.
I believe this description applies to a great many of our churches: nice places, full of kind people, who are told, Sunday after Sunday, that they need to bring more people to church or do more work for Jesus. It can feel like scrambling to please an absentee parent. Our anxious hearts suffer, all a while trying desperately to do more and more for God Almighty.

Sarah Condon, Churchy, Mockingbird, 2017, PCs 152-153.


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The Days Are Long, But The Years Are Short (via Sarah Condon)

Though parenting young children can be the most demanding of seasons in a person’s life, it is also a time that our minds return to with an increasing fondness as the years pass.
Sarah Condon writes an essay on The Work Of Love which is parenting:

It is hard to recognise that you are in the sweetest time of your life when you are in it. People often say to young parents that “the days are long, but the years are short.” They are right. In a very short time my children will be adolescents, and then teenagers, and then I will have one very quiet house. I know that there are happy years beyond these. But for some holy reason, these are the years we return to in our memories, even decades later. I am convinced that the work of love we do stays with us no matter how much time has past.

Sarah Condon, Churchy, Mockingbird, 2016, pg 59.


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Christianity As Identity, Not A Magic Potion (via Sarah Condon)

From Sarah Condon’s book Churchy.

Everyone has wounds from childhood that will follow us into the grave. Christianity is not a magic potion to make our pain vanish. but it will tell you to whom you belong. That is the best way I can describe “putting on the armor of Christ” (Ephesians 6:11) We are not necessarily fighting a battle with other people so much as fighting our own well-developed patterns of self-loathing sin. … Jesus interrupts this destructive cycle. He puts a safeguard around our hearts and whispers, “Remember, you are mine.”

Churchy, Sarah Condon, Mockingbird, 2016, pg 36.