Leading Congregational Change

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During my tenure as a student at Barclay College, I have been consistently challenged and affirmed in multiple areas of my spiritual life. In many cases I was, it seems, laboring under a delusion that these areas were either totally secure, or fatally flawed in some way that left them beyond the reach of redemption or change. These flaws in particular were brought to light last semester, and by the grace of God I have seen that there is a path forward for me. My own stream, to use Fosters analogy, cutting thought the once barren landscape of my spiritual journey. I have come to see over the course of the past few months that I am neither as secure nor as flawed as I was once lead to believe. I am reminded of God's admonition to Ezekiel, “God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”I said, “Master God, only you know that.”He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!’”God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!”1 Just as last semester God got hold of my areas of weakness, it would seem that this semester He is choosing to challenge my areas of greatest security. In reading Fosters book I was consistently challenged to reassess my belief structure about his streams, and I am now in this paper forced to make an attempt at coalescing those challeng... ... middle of paper ... ...at societal impact we once enjoyed. Like Woolman we need to consider how out testimony on equality, simplicity, and peace fit into the stream of evangelicalism. If we can recapture that passionate devotion to the King and his love and concern for the least among us then I have no doubt we will once again create tsunami like waves of impact on the world for Christ. I have greatly enjoyed the Foster text. It challenged my thinking on several key issues and I am certain that I will be returning to it in the future as I continue this journey. Works Cited Foster, Richard J. Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1998. Herrington, Jim, Mike Bonem, and James H. Furr. Leading Congregational Change: a Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

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