What I Learned at UNCO11 #1: Organizational Navel-Gazing + Lack of Vision = God Help Us!

I’m totally in the “without a vision the people perish” camp regarding our beloved and beleaguered denomination. It’s not surprising to me that large churches (and small ones, for that matter) would be disillusioned and distracted by the various “culture wars” among us because there is no larger, compelling vision that arches over our shared recent history and which (to borrow a metaphor) bends toward something far bigger than ourselves. For the past decade or so, we’ve spent so much time doing what I would characterize as organizational navel-gazing that it seems like that’s all we know how to do. Where is that greater, inspiring vision that goes beyond institutional survival? What do we want to do and be in the world? How do we want to carry out that vision? I, too feel like breaking away, but not over issues defined by left/right politic, but because I often feel hopeless about the ability and perhaps the willingness of the people at the top of the organizational chart to do any serious soul-searching, scripture-searching, Calvin-reading, first-4-chapters-of-the-Book-of-Order-applying work that could bring new meaning and purpose that goes way beyond how we will pay for extravagant salaries, office space and even beyond how to sustain traditional offices in traditional ways.

I love the PCUSA, but I love the Lord more and we aren’t doing so well as his followers if we’re spending all our energy on maintenance of an institution he was never part of.

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