Healthy Pastors = Healthy Churches = Healthy Communities
- Thursday, August 10, 2006
It could have been the downtown in any small city, a place of transition where many cultures meet and people learn how to live together:
Pre-school children romped in an enclosed playground…
A group of developmentally disabled adults boarded a bus….
Members of an AA group assembled for their weekly meeting….
An elderly gentleman walked into a free dental clinic…
On her way to work, a middle-aged woman escorted her mother to senior day care…
Unemployed men and women finished a free, hot meal with full stomachs…
Parents received much needed clothing for their young children…
A recently widowed woman obtained helpful counseling.
The venue for these acts of service might surprise you. All took place in various local churches in a single southeastern
The churches represented here are not mega-churches. In some ways, they are congregations in transition. Their architecture reflects the stately traditions of many years ago, when the wealthy and successful members of the community built beautiful houses of worship. Today, those benefactors are long gone, the sanctuary may need a fresh coat of paint and the pastor wears many hats. But each of these congregations is actively and creatively carrying out its God-given mandate to love and to serve.
Who leads these communities of faith and outreach? An African-American man in his 30s called into ministry from a successful career... a bilingual pastor who conducts services in both English and Spanish... a woman and her husband who each pastor a different church... an elderly priest who moved from a larger congregation to a place where he could directly make a difference... a bi-vocational minister whose other part-time job helps his family make ends meet.
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