Jump directly to the Content

Bonhoeffer Convinced Me to Abandon My Dream

His words challenged everything I had learned about pastoral vision.
Bonhoeffer Convinced Me to Abandon My Dream
Image: Illustration by Rick Szuecs / Source images: Unsplash / Envato

In a seminary class on leadership, the professor gave us each the assignment of designing a church. We had to write out a mission statement, vision statement, values, and beliefs. I worked hard on it but received a B. Apparently, I overused the word gospel. The professor's note explained that the word was not contextualized enough for the post-Christian city I had identified as the location for this imaginary church plant.

It bothered me because I had poured myself into that project. Sure, the church I had described was only theoretical, but the vision was real. Though it was just an assignment, it represented my highest pastoral aspirations, and it became the goal of my post-seminary imagination.

I thought my vision for that future church was genuinely innovative. We would meet in some industrial space with lots of wood beams, single-origin coffee, and a massive rear projector at the back of the stage. If that sounds to you like a Redeemer Presbyterian–Mars Hill mashup, minus ...

April
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Inside the Church Building of 2017
Inside the Church Building of 2017
What's hot, what's next, and what needs to die.
From the Magazine
I Wanted a Bigger God Than My Hindu Guru Offered
I Wanted a Bigger God Than My Hindu Guru Offered
As my doubts about his teachings grew, so did a secret fascination with Jesus.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.
close