Vision In the Ashes

Vision In the Ashes April 19, 2006

I’ve met some really interesting folks through the interweaving of church and blog life. One is Tripp Hudgins, whose blog is at this link: http://www.anglobaptist.org/blog/

As you might imagine, I like Tripp’s irreverent approach to life. I also like that one of my wonderful new church members, Amy Dale, recently moved her membership from Tripp’s church in Chicago (thanks!).

However, in the throes of Holy Week last week I visited Tripp’s site and encountered this list of 12 Characteristics of an Effective 21st Century Pastor:

  1. The ability to maintain personal, professional, and spiritual balance.
  2. The ability to guide a transformational faith experience (conversion).
  3. The ability to motivate and develop a congregation to be a “mission outpost” (help churches reclaim their role in reaching new believers).
  4. The ability to develop and communicate a vision.
  5. The ability to interpret and lead change.
  6. The ability to promote and lead spiritual formation for church members.
  7. The ability to provide leadership for high-quality, relevant worship experiences.
  8. The ability to identify, develop, and support lay leaders.
  9. The ability to build, inspire, and lead a “team” of both staff and volunteers.
  10. The ability to manage conflict.
  11. The ability to navigate successfully the world of technology.
  12. The ability to be a lifelong learner.

Excerpted from When Better Isn’t Enough: Evaluation Tools for the 21st-Century Church copyright © 2004 by the Alban Institute.

I am tired. So tired in general, but especially after Holy Week. I really hope I can show up for work with my hair brushed; some days I’m not too hopeful for “develop and communicate a vision,” you know what I mean? I have to believe Tripp understands this and was not intentionally trying to make me cry in desperation, because he also posted this passage from the book of Job right before the list, and that helped put everything into perspective.

Some days we’re communicating a vision, and some days we’re just sitting in the ashes. My deepest conviction and most heartfelt prayer is that it takes a little of both to be an effective 21st century pastor.

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  • Tripp Hudgins

    Tears? Ah, that saddens me. But I understand. My Easter sermon was on weariness and rest in Christ. Somehow we have to be able to run to the tomb and to carry our cross…but some days it is all I can do to just find my keys and remember where I parked the car.

    God bless you. And know that I have heard nothing but wondrous things through the Baptist grapevine about you and your work.

    Peace and all good things to you. And please give Amy Dale our love. We miss her very much here in Chicago.

  • Songbird

    Amy, I think that’s a pretty common feeling this week. I am dearly wishing I had taken the whole time off! But Monday, Easter-Plus-One Monday, I hope to be able to read that list again and feel better about it.

  • Jim

    Amy:

    I’m tired of sitting on my ash! Let’s get out there and cast some vision, but first, let’s have coffee.

  • It’s 2009…and I am feeling the burden of this deeply. Be well, Amy!