"Let us never in the midst of the business of the Church lose sight of the fact that there is such a mistake as that of being very busy with the affairs of the Kingdom of heaven and yet of possessing very little personal knowledge of the King; nor let us forget in trying to fit our work in with the conditions in which we find ourselves that the supreme need of men everywhere, whatever may be their superficial desires, is just that need which certain Greeks expressed, as we are told in St. John's Gospel, 'Sir, we would see Jesus.' I feel sure that the highest conviction of us all is, however much passing things may for a time divert us, that the supreme desire and effort of a Christian should be to fix his own full gaze, and to fix the gaze of others, upon Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man." Bp. William Hobart Hare, first Bishop of the Dakotas, 1891
Lately, my heart and mind have been tossing with that issue of "seeking the lost." I am of that generation of clergy bred to be "pastors" to existing congregations, and to seek growth by "techniques" rather than conversion. That's not what animated the missionaries of the Northern Plains - in fact they rejected such thinking.
What do you think? And if you agree with Bishop Hare, how can we better help one another to "fix our own full gaze and to fix the gaze of others upon Jesus Christ"?
This is up as a note over at the Northern Plains Anglicans Facebook page as well.