Sitting in Friday’s Church Administration class, we watched a video where the speaker was addressing the issue of congregations meeting the shift in culture. He said that the Church is a Trust, and that those who are ‘in charge’ are holding that Trust, managing it, and preserving it.
Let me just say that the pastors in the class are impressive – young and/or just entering the ministry, but impressive with their desire to be people of God and to serve in their capacity, not as administrators or managers, but as shepherds.
But, I think that the speaker is right…the Church is not ours, but God’s and those who come after us. It ceased being ours when it came to our generation. A pastor doesn’t own the church, but is a caretaker. I think that the same think can be said about the Scriptures, Tradition, etc… It is not ‘ours’ and ceases to be for us when we take the reins. Instead, whenever we start participating in the life of the Church, either by becoming leaders, exegeting Scripture, theologizing, mission work, etc… it is not for us that we do those things, but for those who are coming after us. The Church if God’s, of that there is no doubt, but it is a sacred Trust held by us for those to whom we pass it down too.
We owe it to those who will take up the reigns, then, to treat what has been given to us as theirs, to be careful with what we do with it and how we use these things.