Sexta, 19 de Abril de 2024
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Letter to Myself

Dear Pastor Marcos Granconato:

I'm not the best person in the world to write you a letter. First, I am very suspicious because, for all I know, I'm the guy who likes you more. This may prevent me from realizing some of your flaws. Second, because I know things about you that nobody else does, and perhaps I will leak some information here that should remain secret. Anyway, as you don’t have so many people who tell you the truth in your face, I think it is worth the risk passing you some personal insights.

Well, basically I am writing to say it's time you accept you lost the fight. I refer to that old desire you have to take this generation of believers from their sleep in order to seek the Kingdom first. Man, it is you who is asleep! And dreaming! This thing of wanting to be a “man of fire with tongue of fire” to melt iced hearts is for those who do not comprehend reality. This desire to “have a voice of thunder” to awaken all apathetic believers sounds more like a phrase from the Chronicles of Narnia (lol).

Your voice is far from thunder! It is kind of a shrill voice instead, perhaps because of that throat formation problem. A good portion of your audience simply tolerates you, and some even fall asleep during your sermons. Voice of thunder ... How naïve! How can you think people will leave aside spiritual apathy because of a sermon or an article in this generation? What you say to these people, my friend, has the same impact of a goldfish that stumbles on a nuclear submarine! No one even feels! Want me to prove? So here we go...

You speak and write so that people go more to church. Result: people go less to church. Just look at services on Wednesday. Before, frequency reached sixty people. Today, only fifteen or twenty participate. Ask sister Dinah. She has a notebook in which are recorded the number of participants. Then, ask Leandro Boer to make a chart with the data provided. You will fall back to the general decline in frequency throughout your working years.

Consider now the morning services. I know that this topic stirs a little more with you because it brings back memories from childhood. The sunny Sunday mornings, the gospel disc playing on the record player while the whole family was preparing to go to Sunday Bible School, the meeting of siblings and classmates along the way... Times that won’t come back. Well, see how it is now. You have to ask people to come forward to occupy the empty seats! After so long in this church ... Eighteen years preaching and teaching! And members still leave empty seats!

And as for the “believers of mensalão” (Scandalous system of monthly bribes to Congressman in Brazil unveiled in the year 2006), those who come to church only once a month? Ow, now I told the nickname you secretly gave them: the mensalão folk! Haven’t you given them up yet? You really hoped they’d become intense cooperators? Ow, please…

Wake up, my dear pastor. The clock is ticking. You are already in your fifties. Thirty years of ministry are gone. Maybe you just have two more decades of work. And that at best! Why not relax and accept things as they are? You lost, my friend, you lost!

Remember when Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy in the Mamertine Prison? Remember the reality of the church around him? Neglect, indifference, apostasy and a gray horizon ahead. Pastor, we are reliving those days right now. Have you done the math of how many fell away “having loved this present world” (2 Tim 4.10)? Have you noticed how many people were intensely assiduous and now are not? Sorry, I know that hurt!

Yes, we are in the Mamertine Age! No use nourishing illusions. Believers today are iced. The time to give life to the service of the Master, to employ as much time as possible in His work, in His worship and in fellowship with His people is gone. Mamertine Age is here to stay. Yes, you lost!

But believe me: I don’t pity for you. I even think that your desires and efforts paid — and have being paying — results in some measure, due solely to the action of the Holy Spirit. Also, I really believe in what you say about the steward, what is expected of him is to be faithful, not successful (1 Cor 4.2). I also believe that your work has achieved the ultimate goal of glorifying Christ. In this respect, I sincerely think that your ministry succeeds. If it serves to excite you, then you have it.

However, you need to lower your expectations for a large number of members of your church. They belong to this new secularized and indifferent to the things of God time. They never knew that happy Sunday morning that you experienced at the sound of the old record player. For them, to go out on Sunday or to stay in bed leaving church aside is the most common thing in the world. They do this with a quiet heart, without a slight consciousness poke

So my advice is that you do today what Paul did in his “Mamertine times”. Pray saying: “May it not be held against them” (2 Timothy 4:16). Then have someone bring you a cover to protect you from the cold and the scrolls for you to study (2 Timothy 4:13). And follow up to your ministry over the few years remaining to you.

Remember when you said you want to be a soldier who “dies shooting”? ... (How dramatic! It's also funny!). Well, then die! Continue talking, preaching, debating, advising, correcting, exhorting... Anyway, keep on “shooting”. Just stop deluding yourself and remember to train your aim well. That's right: train a lot. You should be aware that the targets will go increasingly far!

I leave the humble embrace of someone who admire you very much and think you are a great guy!

Pr. Marcos Granconato
Soli deo gloria

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