“Mission” he notes, “is key to ministry”. “A Church that does not go out of itself, sooner or later, sickens from the stale air of closed rooms”. Pope Francis went on to concede that at times, like anyone else, in going out the Church risks running into accidents. But he added “I prefer a thousand times over a Church of accidents than a sick Church”.
Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=683985
of the Vatican Radio website
This new Pope has some of the greatest one liners a religious figure has had in a while. A common theme in my ministry is the conversation of “what the church is doing wrong?”
It is generally a conversation shared by people who find a genuine experience in the church. Tonight I sat with a group of young adults who genuinely find value in the church experience. They find community that supports them in their need, community the draws the boundaries wide to include people, and a community willing to pray and act for those in need. The reality is that these young people are a part of churches that are asking these questions and reaching beyond their doors to share a message of grace with the world.
When I shared with them the reality that the category of people who claim no church affiliation is a growing category. They were not concerned. When they talked about people who don’t get church. One person basically said, “We don’t need to worry about it.” I instantly realized she was right. We all know it to be true. We aren’t going to get people to church by telling them about how great it is to be a part of a church. People have plenty of things to be excited about. No, we get people excited about church when it doesn’t stink, when we “run into them.”
We have to be out in the world and ready to change lives. Those skills we have at listening to people, coming up with ideas to help them, praying with them, and seeking to assist them in living in this world. Those are the skills the church needs to utilize now, more than ever. Love our neighbor as ourselves.
Now I have know this for a long time, but this quote gave it gumption and an edge.
I totally have to thank Marianne, the Pastor I work with for finding this. When she read it to me I knew I had to use it for the missional work I was doing.