Monday, September 15, 2008

TUESDAY TRAVELS: Mobility and Ministry

On the "Out of Ur" blog, Collin Hansen asks, "Can you shepherd a flock that won't stay put?"

His report asks us to consider the fact of American mobility and its impact on ministry. A USA Today report he cites says that 16% of Americans moved in 2006—that's nearly 50 million people! In the face of this reality, how can churches possibly promote the kind of deep fellowship that comes from long-term relationships, the longevity that makes possible respected leadership, or the connections that make true accountability and church discipline practicable?

If this fact of modern life is so counterproductive to the Christian way, is it possible that Christ-followers might find that one of the best ways of having a long-term influence in our world would be to put down roots in one community and stay there, sacrificing wanderlust or chasing the American dream, and simply living out kingdom values for a long time?

What do you think?

Here is Hansen's conclusion, which ends up focusing on a pastor's responsibility to set an example in this regard:
For the sake of loving each other and loving our neighbors, Christians should re-learn how to put down roots in one community. There will often be valid financial and educational excuses for leaving. But if you invest in your community, the community will invest in you. For too long Christians have followed that American dream to greener pastures, to the neglect of their genealogical and ecclesiological families. If we hope to reverse this trend, shepherds should set the example.

No comments: