Saturday, 24 July 2010
I have just finished reading Ian Morgan Cron's Chasing Francis (NavPress, 2006). It is a fascinating account of how the pastor of a large successful (whatever that means) American church has a crisis of faith which sends him on a trip to Italy to visit his Roman Catholic uncle. Uncle Kenny is a Franciscan and he and his friends introduce Chase (him of the crisis of faith) to the delights and challenges of the way of St. Francis of Assisi. To begin with it is all so strange, but gradually it begins to make sense. Chase returns to the States to present a new vision of church and see if his former congregation (which, incidentally, he founded) wants him back. But he doesn't want the job unless it is going to be very different from the one from which he was asked to take leave of absence. Francis may have lived in the thirteenth century, but he certainly places some very twenty-first century challenges before Chase. And I guess we, too, need to consider what type of church we want to be. What are our priorities in being church? How are we going to use our resources?