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Week One: Chapters 1 and 2 of Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom S. Rainer

“Anxiousness about the future
destroys the life of a congregation.
Out of this anxiousness the pastor and people
try to control events.
This is a tremendous waste of energy,
and drains the people of spiritual power.
Events are always changing
and nothing can be grasped.
If a pastor can free himself and his people
from the fear of death,
there is nothing they cannot achieve.”

These words by William Martin ring so true. Pastors and lay leaders can fall into the trap of fear of dying. Everything God has created has a beginning and an ending. You and I will die one day. The question we must ask ourselves is how will we live today?

In many ways how we choose to live is the crux of Rainer’s book. The question we must wrestle, how can we live today without the fear of dying getting in our way? Instead of looking at what used to be, look at what we are and long to become then work towards this desire.

What are the fears of your congregation? Are you willing to let them go?

Brave journey,
The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of Louisiana

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