A Little History Please Part II

Thanks to Sue, I was able to see Cottage Grove through the lens of one who had seen our church minister through good and bad times. Her family had seen the ups and the downs of our community and church. She was able to show me picture albums full of what our town used to be. She was able to provide me with a historical foundation from which I could launch a hopeful ministry.

When a pastor ignores the history of the place God has called him, he automatically alienates himself from the one thing that all the people have in common. . . a shared past. Pastors often say that they just can’t connect with the flock. They will generally blame the people for this inability to connect. More often than not, though, I have found that it is the pastor’s unwillingness to see where his people are coming from that causes the most misunderstandings. After discovering Cottage Grove’s rich history, I now understand my congregation better. After looking through Sue’s photo albums I can at least picture what people are talking about when they take me for a walk down memory lane. Pastors should do a little homework. Take time to read some of the church minutes. I am blessed at Cottage Grove to have the original minutes dating back to the 1800’s. Pastors should understand that those softball, parade, and volleyball trophies that are collecting dust in some obscure closet in the church all have a story to tell. The plaques that hang in the church vestibule all have meaning and a story. Every brick and all of the carpentry work in our sanctuary tell a story of prayer and sacrifice as our church rebuilt after a devastating fire. Take a little time to connect to your people’s history. You will understand them better. You will understand your context better. You will be a better pastor for it.

Thanks Sue!

Published in: on April 6, 2008 at 12:23 am  Comments Off on A Little History Please Part II  
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