Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Cultivated Fields or Shopping Malls

“Why do pastors so often treat congregations with the impatience and violence of developers building a shopping mall instead of the patient devotion of a farmer cultivating a field? The shopping mall will be abandoned in disrepair in 50 years; the field will be healthy and productive for another thousand if its mysteries are respected by a skilled farmer.

“Pastors are assigned by the church to care for congregations, not exploit them, to gently cultivate parishes that are plantings of the Lord, not brashly develop religious shopping malls. No, the congregation is topsoil—seething with energy and organisms that have incredible capacities for assimilating death and participating in resurrection.” Eugene Peterson

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