November 4, 2023
I have spent the last three days pondering a quote from a Lutheran minister named Michael Foss. I have known of Rev. Foss for a number of years, as I used a book he wrote with some leadership groups. In an interview with patheos.com, he said the following:
The biggest challenge churches have is casting a vision for ministry that is compelling. By compelling I mean one that can create enough energy and hope to overcome our addiction to the past.
For those of you in the corporate world, I believe this quote operates equally well. Sadly, in the church, the addiction to the past is caused primarily by a fear of an unknown future and/or an insecurity that seeks power and control. Both the fear and the insecurity do not align with the Jesus of Scripture. He echoed the prophets of old when he told his disciples not to fear, and of course, his life witness taught us the power of humility and self-giving service. I’m going to suggest that part of the reason we allow fear and insecurity to grip us and define our approach to the Gospel, is a lack of self-care. Again, this is not an attempt to guilt people into self-care. That never works. But those of us (and I include myself here) who are not always doing the necessary self-care are very susceptible to the sway of fear and insecurity. And when that happens, the church becomes addicted to the past, where we are serving our own needs and not the gracious beckoning of a God who is calling into a more faithful and Christ-life future.
I know I’ve got work to do, and so, Holy One of Heaven, I turn to you for guidance along the journey toward health and well-being. My essence is love, as I was created in your image, and so I seek to love myself into greater and greater health. I draw upon the wisdom of others who can counsel and encourage, while always allowing for your liberating love to free me from all that hinders me from becoming the person who created me to be. Amen.
Rev. Bruce Frogge