July 3, 2018

Letting Go

One of the most difficult things to do in our congregations and organizations is to make a decision on when to let go. We hold onto programs, buildings and even people. We oftentimes see letting go as failure and therefore hold on to outlived, unnecessary and sometimes dysfunctional ideas.

We hold on to buildings that we cannot afford, that drain us financially and emotionally and prevent us from doing ministry in our communities.

We hold on to programs that have long outlived their usefulness. We blame each other instead of doing the strategic work to determine whether this program that was so effective in the 1980s still works for our congregation today.

We hold on to our clergy, even when they retire, not allowing them to explore the next phase of their ministry and not allowing our congregations to be exposed to new and different ideas brought by a new leader.

We hold on to lay leaders, some of us have the same junior and senior wardens for decades, preventing others in the congregation from sharing their leadership gifts, changing and suspending By-laws to maintain the status quo.

We hold on to music, killing our young people’s spirit with the ancient chants instead of realizing that we can make a joyful noise in various music genres.

We hold on to dysfunctional parishioners, thinking we can save them as they ravage our churches with their negative behavior and that we really need their pledges. Instead let’s pray for them and invite them to another worshipping community where they can be better served.

We hold on to our money, using it as a cudgel for our whims on how the church should be run, instead of practicing good stewardship.

We hold on to old grievances, draining our organizations with conflict and trauma.

Instead let us hold on the “Loving, Liberating, and Life-giving” God within our churches as stated and envisioned by our Presiding Bishop.

Let us all “Let go and let God”!!