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Week Two: Chapters 3 and 4 of Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom S. Rainer

Slow Erosion

I often tell people who are thinking about remarrying that if they don’t work on what caused the divorce from their first spouse, they just might marry their old spouse with a different face. No one likes change. It can be uncomfortable and messy. So, we choose what we know as familiar. Churches do the same thing. We keep doing “church” the same way because we know the words to the hymns and prayers. We know when the priest will cross herself and when we stand or sit. Change all that and we get anxious and refuse to participate. What we don’t recognize is we are being lulled to sleep.

When was the last time you changed where you sat for Sunday services? What would it be like to sit on the front row rather than where you and your family have always sat? I get nervous just thinking about that one. When was the last time you volunteered to serve on the vestry before you arms were twisted? I wonder what the change of scenery would do for your church? When was the last time you worked on healing old pains that get in the way of loving your neighbor?

There is a modern commercial on TV where the line is, “a body in motion stays in motion.” Is your church moving?

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

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