Would we close? Or could we keep going?
It was the question that occupied my mind as I drove to meet with a denominational leader about my congregation. And it was the question that came at me from every side as I began my ministry as a solo pastor of an urban congregation in St. Louis, Missouri, just a month after my graduation from seminary. Though I had led a congregation to a merger as a student pastor, I still wasn’t equipped to answer this question. Nobody had mentioned the financial strain, the community members’ fatigue, and the denominational push-pull the congregation had been through for the years preceding my arrival.
It had taken months for me to land this face-to-face meeting with the one person in my denominational structure with the authority to decide my congregation’s fate.
Would we close? Or could we keep going? Read more