I was attracted by the title of the book when I was looking for helps to minister a very small and declining church. I was touched and inspired by what Anna Olson wrote at the beginning of the book , “Giving up on success frees us. We are free to measure the fruits of our ministry not by the marks of longevity, affluence, and popularity but rather by the mark set by Jesus: love of God and neighbor. If our churches cease striving to be full and flush, we can strive to be places where we and our neighbors practice welcoming and being welcomed, forgiving and being forgiven, loving and being loved. We can live fully in whatever tine we have left, claiming our place in the sacred story of death and resurrection. Relinquishing our claim on survival, we can walk toward death in faith and hope, offering all that we have left to a God fully capable of doing a new thing in our neighborhoods and our communities. In short, we can be who we were always meant to be.”
I believe we will be truly “successful” if we can be a community for our neighbor to experience and practice welcoming and being welcomed, forgiving and being forgiven, loving and being loved. Amen.