Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Leaving

One of the harsh realities of doing ministry in Washington, DC is that people tend to leave. A lot. If we were living in the mid-80s, our "Friends Are Friends Forever" tape would be worn straight through. With the high percentage of Hill staffers and students in DC and at NCC, specifically, there is ridiculously high turnover. In fact, our congregation surveys have shown that we lose 40-50% of our folks every year due to the rapid movement of people in and out of the city. You grow numb to it after a while, almost not even noticing that yet another person has moved clear across the country or the world.

But every now and then, someone leaves that shakes you out of the numbness. Today is one of those days.

There are several perspectives, reactions, and outlooks you can adopt, embrace, and express when living and ministering in such an environment. You can continue with life as normal, pouring yourself wholeheartedly into each person you meet and finding that you have maxed out your relational and emotional capacities. You can take the safe road and retreat entirely into current friendships and make a decision to not get too close to anymore people since they probably won't be around for much longer anyway. You can view each person as a potential missionary, in whom you can invest on average 2 years of discipleship and leadership training before boldly sending them back into the world to change it. All of these affect the way we live our personal lives and the way we do ministry.

I'm not sure I have it all figured out yet.

2 Comments:

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Lisa O said...

When you do figure it out, let me know :)

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Amy said...

I would say lean towards the missionary focus -- here's hoping you get to send me soon. oh, never ever thought i'd say that.

 

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