Call it spring cleaning. I just threw out nearly two file drawers of Church Development files. Why did it take me ten years to do this? Unlike my wife, I’m a thrower. So, why would a “thrower” cling to over ten years of paper files in an electronic age? Perhaps I’m sentimental. To read meeting minutes, consultation studies, and workshop notes dealing with ministries that I was personally involved in makes it hard to toss them into the recycling bin.
The Redevelopment Venture Process, a forerunner of the Fruitful Congregation Journey church revitalization process, and Sending of the Saints, which preceded the more recent One Hundred Points of Light outreach effort, involved significant effort and countless hours, involving friends and colleagues in ministry. The files were the last reminders of those days. And now they’re gone.
Is your church a saver or a thrower? Is it time for you and your church to do some spring cleaning too? What is it that you’re clinging to that has served its purpose and is no longer relevant, but because it’s familiar and there’s emotional attachment, you’re still holding on to it? Jesus said that we need to put new wine into new wineskins. For the sake of Jesus’ call and the church’s mission, may we have the courage and gumption to let go of our old wineskins and embrace the new.
— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development