We often call the place we worship, “our church”.
Shared experiences have made it so. The life of a church is embodied in life within the church. We call this history.
Yesterday, as we examined rural churches, there was quite a discussion about how history affects effectiveness in a church. Knowing the past can help us connect with those who have poured their lives into a church. Knowing the past can help us sidestep hornet’s nests that have been stirred once too often. History can even give us clues as to new ways of ministry.
I have a unique history with the church I currently attend. I was “born into” this church. I was carried to services shortly after my birth. Although our family moved away at a young age, I returned in my early twenties for four years. Twenty five years later, I returned once again. My current stint here has been for 10 years.
I am both a recent citizen, while also being born here – with roots going back to my grandfather, who homesteaded here.
I have history and yet I am new. A peculiar situation which lets me speak to different generations of inhabitants of this church.
What an awesome privilege. And responsibility.