I just finished reading David Fitch’s take on sustainable ministry for missional leaders and pastors. You can read it here. He explained that the temptation to get pragmatic in our ministries (i.e., tell the people what they want to hear in order to pay for programs/salaries) is drastically lessoned when a missional community (1) keeps building expenses minimal, (2) maintains a multiple bi-vocational/bi-ministerial pastorate, and (3) develops an economy of thrift (free-cycling, meal sharing, etc.) among members. What do you think? Is he being realistic?
Lastly, Fitch recommends some good ol’ fashion spiritual disciplines (i.e., daily long walks, silence, and lectio divina) for renovating the heart of a missional leader out of the grimy hands of fear and/or pandering. Here’s the “Psalm for Missional Leaders” he’s been using (with his own notation):
Trust in the Lord and do good
Dwell in the land, and cultivate faithfulness (or “feed on His faithfulness” – this line is a mantra for missional pastors)
Delight yourself in the Lord’
And he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord
Trust also in Him and He will do it
And he will bring forth your righteousness as the light…
So, to all my church friends and leaders…do not fret! Let’s get our hands in the dirt so to speak and quietly walk away from anxious reactions. Let’s make a more sustainable ministry for our communities and then see the fruit of joining the lasting missio dei. How else could we expect our lives to become the change we hope to see?
p.s. If I didn’t already mention this, you have to read David’s post. I did? Well, just read it…pretty please!