søndag 27. februar 2011
Don't Waste a Crisis
"I once was part of a survey on spiritual formation. Thousands of people were asked when they grew most spiritually, and what contributed to their growth. The response was humbling—at least for someone who works at a church.
The number one contributor to spiritual growth was not transformational teaching. It was not being in a small group. It was not reading deep books. It was not energetic worship experiences. It was not finding meaningful ways to serve.
It was suffering.
People said they grew more during seasons of loss, pain, and crisis than they did at any other time. I immediately realized that, as a church, we had not even put anybody in charge of pain distribution! So now we are figuring out how to create more pain per attender for maximum spiritual growth.
Actually, the wonderful and terrible thing about crisis is that it's the one resource we do not have to fund or staff or program. It just comes. However, pain does not automatically produce spiritual growth. Ghettos and barrios and abusive homes and trauma wards may produce scarred souls; they can cripple more human spirits than they strengthen.
Crisis can lead to soul strength, but not if the soul is starved of other nutrients, and not apart from certain responses.
If we have not thought carefully about the intersection of crisis and ministry, we may have neglected the most soul-formative moments that occur in the lives of our people. So what does wisdom teach about crisis and the cure of souls?
First, do no harm …
No one wants pain. Not even long-time, mature Christians who want to grow. We will always find ways to avoid pain. Pain itself is a bad thing.
It is a little known fact that in Chinese, the word crisis is made up of two characters: "life" and "stinks."
Well, that may not be true, but the place to begin in crisis is with simple humanity. When someone is in crisis, don't start by teaching, leveraging, or explaining. Just be with.
Perhaps the single most disobeyed command the apostle Paul ever wrote was "Mourn with those who mourn."
He doesn't say, "Give good advice to those who mourn." He doesn't say, "Tell mourners to suck it up because plenty of people have it worse." He doesn't say, "Rebuke mourners because being around someone who's unhappy gets in the way of my own unbridled demand for incessant pleasantness."
No, mourn with those who mourn. We do not need answers or formulas to minister in crisis. Nicholas Wolterstorff is a brilliant Yale philosopher whose 25-year-old son died in a mountain-climbing accident. His Lament for a Son is as searingly painful and beautiful as any book on suffering I know. He points out that what we need—even more than we need answers—is Presence. Wolterstorff writes that what has moved him deeply is the Presence of the Crucified One who chooses to suffer with suffering people. He notes that Scripture says no one can see the face of God and live. He always thought that meant no one can see God's glory and live. But now he wonders if perhaps it means no one can see God's suffering and live...."
If you would like to read the hole artickel, plese press this link: "DONT'T WASTE A CRISIS"