aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

On winning

The Packers went to 14-1 tonight and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. What's really bizarre is that over 15 games, the Packers have given up more yards than they've gained. How can you do that, and still win? Well, Aaron Rodgers threw for five touchdowns. Oh, and the Packers had zero turnovers and zero penalties. Their kicker ain't bad, either.

I would suggest that there's a lesson here for the Church. I hear all kinds of people say that the secret of ecclesiastical success is this, that, or the other thing. I think most of what people say in that regard is hooey. You've got to do what you do better than other people do what they do.

Yes, we lose people we shouldn't lose. Yes, it can be hard for newcomers to break the code and figure out the whole Christian thing. But people come and go no matter what we do, and being "seeker-sensitive" too often means just inventing a different (and far less adequate) culture to incarnate the message. Success is preaching the gospel. Success is being faithful. Success is meaning the vows you took once upon a time (this applies to both clergy and laity) and still meaning them. Success means interpreting the sacraments, not redesigning them. Success takes a lot of prayer. Success requires a lot of time to develop relationships.

If you do the important stuff right, it doesn't matter if there's other stuff that you don't do very well.

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