A Pastoral Word
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This ministry of presence helps create a place where we share ideas, build deeper relationships with one another, and can work on a few great theological debates. One of the ways that we can all do this is to find MCC on facebook and join in the dialogue. The wonderful blessings of this new social media era are that it is a reminder that not just the minister should be doing all the talking! We are a priesthood of all believers. We all have a living faith that connects with our everyday lives. We all have had connections with the divine!
For me, as a minister but more importantly for me as a person of faith, I want to know what everyone is thinking, what everyone believes, and what everyone is struggling with in his or her faith. And that is hard to do on a Sunday morning with limited time. But social media has helped us create a space where time doesn't matter. People can post things and then hours later, others can respond.
I have discovered that my better sermons have come about after some dialogue and conversations with other members. Sure, I can read the commentaries, what the experts are saying about a particular passage and develop a sermon but that is not the word for our community. It is not the word of our community. I have discovered that what really helps give me the words to the message for our community are our conversations!
A few weeks ago, I preached what I thought was a good sermon and I realized that it could have been better, especially after a member sent me an email that said "have you thought about this?" And to be honest, no I hadn't! I wish I had gotten the email before I preached! Because the danger in preaching is that it can be all one-sided, where the minister shares what he or she believes, and the congregation is expected to just listen passively.
As we go through the Surfing the Edge process, we have reclaimed that the Spirit of God is among the people of God and God is speaking, and not just to the minister! God is speaking to all of us! God is engaging all of us in experiences of faith. God is challenging all of us to connect our seemingly ordinary everyday lives with the holy. And the amazing part of all this is that when we enter into the conversation, we may discover that we are not that different. Someone else may be thinking the same thing or someone else may help give us the words to name our struggles. We may discover that we are not alone, that we are connected with loving and supportive people who will challenge us to become the people that God created us to be.
So starting March 1st, I will post a theological question on the Midway Christian Facebook page that may pertain to the upcoming sermon. I will try to have this question up by Monday afternoon at the latest and would love everyone's feedback and dialogue.
I also invite our members to post their questions and wonderings on the Midway Christian Facebook page as well. Who knows, the sermons might start writing themselves!