We want to do church in a way that is self-sustaining but doesn't require us to pressure people to keep it going. The church is to serve people. We don't want it so that the people are serving the system.What necessitated this kind of discussion is the fact that our offerings are down, so much so that I had to take a pay-cut. We need to figure out other ways to decrease expenses and increase income. That's if we want to continue to survive in the same way. Of course, there are ways to decrease expenses. We could continue decreasing my pay. We could rent out more space at the church building. We could sell more land. We could even sell the building if we had to, even though we owe nothing on it and we like the convenience a building affords. And so on. How do we continue to do something that requires some money without pressuring people for money? We could, like I said, reduce everything down so that we require no money to function at all, but we enjoy the convenience of having our building, as plain as it is. Who knows what it will come to? But that's part of it too: living freely, even as a community, means living with uncertainty. So this is the dilemma. It is the same old problem: how to be a community of free people. How does freedom and commitment co-exist? This photo was taken this evening from my front door while I was typing this post. Magical!
I had a meeting with one of our elders this morning over coffee. We were talking about the perplexing dilemma our church community presents. Well, let me just quote what she said: