Friday, November 02, 2012

Parker Palmer on Church

"Too many people in churches today are like tour buses of the Holy Land. People get on the bus, and then the pastor or priest gets into the driver's seat with a microphone and says, 'Now, folks, look out the window on your right. That's Jesus, and there are the disciples, and on your left is the miracle of the loaves and fishes. I'll explain what all this means. But please don't get off the bus at any time. It's dangerous out there.'

Many people are glad to stay in their seats with the windows closed. They they can say, 'I've visited the Holy Land,' without having risked anything. Now, there's a certain logic in taking a tour bus the first time you go to the Holy Land. But some people want to go back again by themselves, having learned the language. They want to walk around on their own, live with a local family, get engaged with the community, and immerse themselves in what they saw out the window. For them it's not enough to stay on the bus for the rest of their lives.

The question for the churches is 'Do we want to keep running tours of the Holy Land? Or do we want people to go there on foot, explore the landscape of faith for themselves, and find out where they might engage the needs of the world most fruitfully?' Serious seekers want churches that will support them in a lifeliong exploration of faith and action, and help them keep sorting and sifting what they're learning."

- Parker J. Palmer


Blogger Cherie said...

Great quote. Thanks for sharing.

2:01 PM  

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