Thursday, 15 November 2007

Burn out on the God beat - how can that be possible?

I had lunch today with a really good young translator - he's recently finished translating Bishop Margot Kässmann's book into English for the WCC. We got to talking about why in the church of all places there is burn out, which led me on to say my usual stuff about how church's are often the most difficult organizations - they are just as political as other places and in addition people feel the burden that they should try to seem as if they are being nice or something.
As we were talking though - particularly about the church I am part of in the UK - I realised how sad I am that it is dying, sad that there is not much left for another generation to inherit from English non-conformity. But I see just how difficult that is then for clergy and church workers. It's not easy to admit that an institution is in palliative care, it's also very exhausting to look after it. Often it might seem as if it is in remission and of course really important things still happen and go on even in this situation.
I hadn't really expressed until today how sad it makes me feel that something that has been so important in forming the person I am, may no longer be. Yet I suppose I must trust in some sort of future. Nathan was saying how lively and full the church he goes to in Exeter is.
Anyway it would seem that the God beat is not only exhausting the clergy but also those hard bitten souls, journalists. A sad indictment on Christians that the way we bear witness to our faith drives some away from the last remains of theirs.