Is this your church?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
From GN's site.
I received this letter today from a pastor.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Today I write with a heavy heart and spirit.
I found out about y2k through your site in September 1997 long before anyone even heard of it. I continued to research the problem and became convinced that y2k is indeed a systemic problem. Either the whole system gets fixed or it is broken. The implications instantly became clear as I realized how dependent our society is on computers.
As a pastor I prayed about how to alert my church and what I should do. I prayed and fasted for three days for direction. I was impressed that I was to stay and help God's people in this area, which is semi-rural, a 6-7 on a scale of 10.
I began to share my y2k concerns with my parishoners during my visitations. Word began to spread that I was scaring people so I decided to go public. In October of last year I held a y2k seminar in our church. The board was totally opposed and did not attend. I had about 25 from the community attend. From that meeting, I was invited by a Chamber of Commerce (who was concerned about the power) exec to hold a weekly y2k meeting in the Chamber building which I have done since January. There has been over 200 people to go through these meetings and a group of about 25 attend regularly. Only two from my church attend.
At our last church board meeting, a banker (we have three of them on our board), made a motion that I take out the y2k meeting announcement out of the bulletin since it was not sponsered by the church. I objected saying that while it was not an officially sponsored church meeting it was part of my ministry and deserved to be in the bulletin. His motion was seconded and carried.
After much contemplation, I took it out. But announced the meeting verbally. So far, no feedback. I don't expect any until the next board meeting.
My church has their fingers in their ears, and a lock on the money box. I am thinking of resigning. . . .
Question: Just wondering about how your churches were addressing this issue. Mine is not. Anyone out there feel like you are the lone wolf as I do? Leadership on Y2K seems to be desperately lacking from many pulpits. Thanks and God bless.
-- trafficjam (email@example.com), May 27, 1999
I don't know if you're like the prophet no one would listen to, but I believe God would want you to hang in there-resigning because they don't listen to you isn't a reason, only an excuse. Who listened to Jesus? There are probably more people in your church who are at least interested in what you have to say but are succumbing to the "powers that be" within the congregation. If you're part of one of the mainline denominations, you do indeed have a hard row to hoe but one soul saved is better than none. Continue to shepherd your flock, be there for them as Jesus was for his disciples; did you think they were there for him? Compassion, not pride; strength, not rebellion.
Find someone in the laity who will be a sounding board to your frustrations. Always remember, feelings usually lie but the Word will always be true.
-- roxie gayle (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 27, 1999.
Our church uses y2k as "you too kount!" to gather info on the masses. All else not a clue!
-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), May 27, 1999.
(1) Try to hang in there for another seven months, if you can. You may be getting through to some of your congregation. At the very least, you seem to be getting the message to some of the rest of your community.
(2) Preach on the Story of Joseph, with emphasis on the seven lean years.
(3) Preach on Proverbs...the wise man taking shelter while the fool rushes headlong to distruction.
(4) Preach on the excessive love of money. You could even through in a comment about usury!
(5) Preach on loving your family enough to prepare for them...
(6) Preach on, brother!
(7) Work through men's & women's ministries. Our Church's women's ministry is doing a nice Y2K seminar, although our pastor is lukewarm. Much of our organized preparation is being done through men's ministry (monthly) and Promise Keepers small group.
-- Mad Monk (email@example.com), May 27, 1999.
You mentioned this:
"As a pastor I prayed about how to alert my church and what I should do. I prayed and fasted for three days for direction. I was impressed that I was to stay and help God's people in this area..."
Then that is what you should do. I would pray and fast again for another three days to determine the best office in which you should do it. I suspect that it may be in the office you currently hold, but as you felt impressed, stick to God's plan - no matter what. And concentrate on helping your church ready themselves spiritually. You might check out James Rutz' book, "The Open Church" - you can get it through www.Borders.com.
-- Brett (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 27, 1999.
There was an almost identical post a while back from a minister who had been asked to seek professional help by his church board. I recall he received much good advice from the forum and was greatly heartened and comforted by it. I think the thread might be in the Awareness/General archive but I have no idea what to search on. Can anyone remember more closely when it appeared? I seem to think in March, but I'm not at all sure. It's worth looking for; I know the minister was given strength to endure.
-- Old Git (email@example.com), May 27, 1999.
Old Git, I think this is the one you are referring to:
The Real Cost of Y2K
-- Gayla Dunbar (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 27, 1999.
Satan is certainly not stupid. Theologically insane maybe, but not stupid. I can think of nothing harder than trying to change the lifestyle priorities of members of one's flock who have been slowly, subtly, and inexorably "molded" by our present culture and world system into folks who either have become pros at rationalization and self-delusion or who are so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good. Would that you could work with a congregation that was less cynical, jaded, ignorant, and-in Biblical terms-"fat and sleek". You are not alone brother! If your motives are pure, you have nothing to be ashamed of and by all means keep "running the race". Just think of all the Apostle Paul went through! When I think I can't go another day, I call to mind the verses of an old Hymn: I need Thee every hour... He knows our frame, that we are but dust. He will get you through this. Remember, don't think in terms of numbers of parishioners made G.I.'s-that is the way the world thinks-you are a loser if you don't get big numbers. No, if you are obedient to His will in your life, that is what pleases God. Leave the numbers up to Him. Blessings!
-- Jeremiah Jetson (email@example.com), May 27, 1999.
Jeremiah and friends,
Thanks for your support. The top part of the post was from Gary North's site. My posting was the question at the bottom. I've been sounding the alarm since April of last year and there are only a few GI's at our church. It is frustrating as you look at people you love and care about and see they have no clue or even care as to the storm brewing. I plan to continue as suggested by you Jeremiah. I will not in any way attempt to usurp the authority of my pastor, who is a good and Godly man. I offer advise and suggestions when asked, and provide written information when requested. I will keep running the race and pray that you folks will also.
-- Trafficjam (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 27, 1999.
The pastor who wrote Gary North may never see this -- but other ministers trying to talk to their congregations about Y2K might.
The suggestions above for texts to base a sermon on left outMatthew 25:1-13. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five [were] foolish. They that [were] foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, [Not so]; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Howard Stern might giggle about this passage, but it seems an apt metaphor for the wisdom of preparing for the unknown.
-- Tom Carey (email@example.com), May 28, 1999.
I approached a pastor of a church that I admittedly attended infrequently. I told him of my concerns regarding y2k sharing with him a sheaf of articles on the subject. As we spoke I noticed a lap-top computer on his desk so I know he was computer literate.
He sensed my anxiety and asked me how I felt about global warming. I told him that global warming is unproven, bad science. Y2K on the other hand is a real event with a deadline. He asked me what was it that I thought he should do about y2k.
I told him that as a shepherd of many families with small children he should warn them (in an un-alarming way of his choosing) that without taking certain precautions they might be putting themselves at risk. He than stared asking me about my relationship with God. I told him that God and I were getting along fairly well and that y2k really didn't have much to do with God. It is a man-made problem and has nothing to do with the end of the world. I told him that though I couldn't remember where in the bible I had read it that there is a passage somewhere regarding the end-times. It states..."...you will know not the hour nor the day." Since we know both the hour and the day of y2k this event doesn't qualify.
He than stated that his duties as a pastor are to administer to the spiritual needs of his flock. I said surely if there was a child in our care and the child started to wander towards traffic that he and I would not just trust in God to watch over the child. We would both race to the child to steer it from danger.
Bottom line...he didn't feel it was his duty to introduce y2k to his congregation. I left feeling defeated. About a week later I visited the web site of the national headquarters of the affilliate. They too were taking a stance on staying away from y2k. I havn't bee
-- bruce johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 28, 1999.
I havn't been back to this church since.
-- bruce johnson (email@example.com), May 28, 1999.
You make a crucial point: relationship. You attend this pastor's church infrequently and have thus made little "investment" in a relationship with him and his "flock", yet you encourage him to take a stance on a controversial issue. Human nature being what it is, he would most unlikely to "get the message about Y2K" from you, and even less likely to preach it to the congregation.
Relationship can make a huge difference in communicating, especially in matters of great importance. "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."
-- Mac (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 28, 1999.
I'm not a minister....but my church has a congregation with much of the same attitude as yours though there are some members who are cautiously preparing for y2k. Our minister has been commendable with informing the congregation of the consequences of y2k if it becomes catastrophic. I've recently come across Psalm 33: 17-19 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. What caught my attention to this Psalm was the word "famine". I don't know that there will or will not be famine as a result of y2k, but obviously the person reading this Psalm was brought to an awareness that famine is possible to all people including Christians. I honestly believe some people (including congregations) have an attitude that they will be set apart from hardship or suffering because of their faith. This is certainly vanity in it's deepest deception. You're doing a good deed to issue the warning with risk to your reputation if y2k turns out mild. I don't see that you had any other choice but to warn them, and hope your'e encouraged by the fact you had the courage to bring the y2k subject to their attention.
-- Mary Doe (M.Doe@usa.net), May 28, 1999.
Hi to all. An interesting thread. My church 'used' to be like that one. My Pastor is a very wise man of God...At first he was very angry about all the y2k hype...I told him (before I knew he was a dgi) that I had researched this subject over 2 years and had began preparations. He soon found out, I was not alone, many were preparing, however, his dillema was how to approach without panic...In his wisdom, he assigned many of us to do reports on y2k, we have many professionals in our church, doctors, nurses, insurance folks, computer folks, water treatment workers and the like. We are a small church, average about 125 on Sundays. All grew excited about their reports. On a certain night, we had to give our findings in front of the congregation, the amazing part was that each of us concluded, should it get real bad where we live, we would meet at the church and like the book of Acts, share all things common. I sure hope this Pastor doesnt resign, but listens to God. There is wisdom God will share as He did for us. I am relieved to have a 'bug' out plan if necessary where others I am familiar with can share, cry, pray and laugh together. Just a suggestion, but I believe this was a wonderful approach.
-- consumer (email@example.com), May 28, 1999.
Sometimes we get caught up in the process and forget the purpose to which the process points. Sometimes we get weary. Even Jesus said, How long must I bear with you, o slow of heart to believe? Luke 24.
I know the pastor above. His consideration of resignation was his way of being open to moving in a new direction. He felt his church would not be a part of the solution in 2000, so why not think about positioning yourself with those who are preparing to make a difference. Here is the verse God has given him:
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6
A big part of the Chrisitan process as we head into 2000 is learning to trust in a loving Father in heaven and not in our earthly understanding of things.
Thanks to all who have posted here. It gives me hope for the future. b
-- BB (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 30, 1999.