Sunday, November 05, 2006

HOW DO CHURCHES HEAL?

HOW DO CHURCHES HEAL?
After-pastor churches are ones that have experienced a violation of trust by an offending clergy. The condition of the church prior to the incident is a critical determining factor. If the church was unhealthy before the incident, then it will return to an unhealthy state afterwards. But if the church was healthy before, it will likely return as a healthy church later.
A second factor, is if the church really wants to recover. Reminds me of Jesus asking the man at the pool if he wants to be healed. If the answer is yes and the people are willing to work at it, then miracles will happen.
An additional component is that the people of the church must truly love each other and be willing to keep communication open and honest. Unhealthy behavior can not be tolerated and must be extinguished as soon as possible in loving ways.
Also the role of the incoming after-pastor is crucial. Knowing that the trust has been violated in the past, one must be extra careful not to violate any newly acquired trust. This will undo years of work and spread a cloud of suspicion over anything done from that point onward.
Seeing the joy present in a healthy healed congregation is such a delight, and ministry does become productive again, meetings are free from hostilities, fellowship is enjoyed and there is a sense of wellness clearly visible as soon as anyone walks in the door.
For more info about after-pastor ministry, check out the web site:
http://afterpastor.org/ See especially the APART link

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