Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When the Going Gets Tough ...

Why should a church consider Intentional Interim Ministry? When churches experience tough times filled with conflict or uncertainty the instinct is for the congregation to circle the wagons, cut back, hold on, and wait for the difficulties to pass by. But experience has taught me that this approach never solves the problems or changes the circumstances.

I love the story about General Ferdinand Foch, regarded as a World War I French hero, who sent the following dispatch to his superiors at a time when his army was in deep trouble: “Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I attack.”

General Foch's dispatch communicated courage instead of fear, faith instead of capitulation, and resolve instead of paralysis. And his counter-intuitive, counter-attack successfully stopped a strategic German advance. The church needs men and women with this same kind of courage, faith and resolve in turbulent times. The church needs intentional interim ministers with this kind of instinct.

The word – intentional – is in my job description for a reason. Moments of crisis are not the time to do nothing. They are the moments of opportunity to do something and to do something significant. They are moments to consider new ideas and new approaches to old problems. They allow us to not only make little changes to the little things but to try making big changes to the big things.

My prayer is that I will serve NGWC with intention and that God will bless those intentions because they align with His will and that the changes that flow out of those intentions will have a positive impact on the Kingdom.

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