The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Days of timidity are over

Church confident, bold, courageous through Spirit

In these uncertain and challenging times, I have pondered Paul's words to Timothy: "God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7; New International Version).

Timidity is not one of God's gifts to us, but we must assess it if we run the risk of becoming a timid church body.

A timid church focuses on what is lost or lacking: members, financial assets, numbers of congregations, or the number of students in programs and schools. A timid church battens down the hatches and tries to hold on to what and who remains.

A timid church defines itself (or lets others do so) on the basis of controversies or partisan divisions. Yearning for a life without tension, a timid church faces the future with fear and foreboding.

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