Spare a thought for your Minister, Vicar, Church leader this month. Christmas is their busiest time of the year. As they enter the pulpit for all the Christmas services, they are expected to be on top-form, and be enthusiastic, and confident, regardless of what is happening in their Churches, and in their personal lives.
Sadly at least one Church has no Vicar this Christmas. He has resigned because he cannot stand the moaning congregation any more!
There has been a Church at Burbage, Wiltshire, since at least 1086. The Domesday book records that a Church existed there then. Pictures of the Church building look beautiful. But something has gone terrible wrong for All Saints Church, Burbage.
The Times newspaper tells us that the local Bishop has decided not to appoint a new Vicar but to call in a Christian reconciliation ministry called Bridge Builders to try and bring peace and harmony to the Church. Before the Vicar stepped down he wrote to all his congregation commenting: The Sunday morning worship experience is nether warm, nor welcoming. Rather it reflects … grumbling, gossip and disunity. The arrogance of some church members through e mails and conversations on an almost daily basis is wearisome. It drains energy, robs enthusiasm, and reveals that some … would prefer not to have a vicar.
The Apostle Paul had to deal with considerable disunity and grumbling in the Churches he established. However, he was not afraid to speak fearlessly to those who grumbled. To the Church at Philippi he wrote:
Let each esteem others better than themselves.
Let each of you look out not only for your own interests but also for the interests of others …
Do all things without complaining and disputing.
How we need to pray that amidst all the trapping of Christmas there will be peace and goodwill – around the Christmas table, in the Churches, and yes, towards our Church Minister and leaders.
PS: Don’t forget to pray for them.
13 Dec 2018