1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Reading these makes me wonder what kind of regrets church people have as they end their ministries. Do you wish you hadn’t worked so hard at changing your church, and had instead just enjoyed it for what it was? Do you wish you had expressed what you were feeling out loud more, and not been afraid of what others might say? I have some of these regrests about my time in a church that died.
If you’re reading this and your church is still alive, think about what you don’t want to regret later. Are you fighting with other members? Stressing out about trivial details? Doing all the work by yourself because nobody else does it the way it should be done? Is this really the way you want to remember your life in your church?
Those who have experienced the death of a church may have something to teach those who are trying to keep churches alive. What do you have to teach me?
Bronnie Wares can teach you what she has learned from dying people in her blog and book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying” here.