Friday, September 08, 2006

The Future of this Blog

Yesterday tonyc commented, “Finally, with regard to our sinking ship, it probably would help if we all spend more time patching and rowing, and less time shooting holes in the hull.” That is exactly what I did for the first 19.5 years of my ordained life. My ministry focused on the local congregation and the Presbytery. I have served on almost every imaginable committee or task force. I shielded my congregation from most of the garbage that happened in the PCUSA. You see, for 19.5 years I have been a part of the problem in the PCUSA.

Pastors in the PCUSA (of which I am one) have been a major part of the problem in our denomination. We focus too much on the local church. We either turn a blind eye to the miss steps of the denomination or we choose to ignore them. As a result, we have the mess we are in today.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a sailor. There is something seriously wrong when a sailboat (or any boat for that matter) begins taking on water. The first response is not to row faster (or sail faster, or motor faster). The source of the water needs to be found. The catamaran I chartered in the British Virgin Islands carried 200 gallons of drinking water (that’s a lot of H2O!). Has a drinking water tank ruptured or had its fittings fail? Has the cooling system developed a leak? Is the water coming from outside the hull? Has a thru-hull fitting failed? Has a back siphon developed due to the healing of the boat? The first thing to do when a boat takes on water is diagnosis!

tonyc believes that I am “shooting holes in the hull” of the PCUSA. Long time readers of this blog will know that I have written on numerous topics and reviewed several books. I have looked at what it means to be a Purpose Driven Presbyterian Church. I have used Leonard Sweet’s book, Post-Modern Pilgrims, to look at how the church could reach out to those who could be called postmodern. I have used a book called The Radical Leap (written for business leaders) to look into what it means to be a leader. I have written on the dealing with change (using Who Moved My Cheese for inspiration/ideas). And yes, I have been looked critically at the PCUSA. I call it diagnosis. If the people in the pews believe that all-is-well-in-Presbyterian land then nothing is ever going to change: Horizons will continue to publish studies that most PW groups refuse to use, the publishing arms of the PCUSA will continue to publish books that embarrass local Presbyterians, renegade Presbyteries will continue to turn their backs on the rules of our denomination, etc.

So… where is this leading? I have been wondering what to do with this blog. As a pastor of a small church I wear many hats. This fall I am teaching a class, called Interpreting the Bible Faithfully, that uses a book by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, “How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.” I also lead the worship teams –that means LOTS of time finding new, appropriate music for our two worship services. I will also be leading a Bible study and I am in a small group. Additionally, there are two worship services each week to plan. I also blog, and I take my blogging seriously. I am constantly reading books, articles and other blogs to keep current in all areas of ministry. I am always looking for topics for this blog. I love being a pastor and doing what I do. Yet, like most pastors… I am swamped.

THE FATE OF THIS BLOG IS IN THE HANDS OF YOU READERS! I will follow your wishes. Here are the choices:

Option #1 – I stop publishing on this blog.

Option #2 – Keep writing the blog but don’t be so critical of the PCUSA.

Option #3 – Keep doing what you are doing.

Post a comment on this blog with your vote. Please vote only once.

On Monday morning, September 11th, I will count the votes at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time. If option #1 is the winner there will be no post that day, or the next day, or the next, etc. If either option 2 or 3 is the winner I will post and let that be known.

So… if option 1 is the winner I would like to thank all of you for taking the time read this blog. Time is very valuable. Thanks for spending your time looking at FullCourtPresby!


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