Save this for after Christmas.
Totally, completely, eschew the fellow who tells you his religious antics come because he is a "fool for Christ's sake." The odds are a he is a fool on his own and he blames the wrong Fellow.
Ignore the religious fellow who begins to tell you he cannot take a chance on contemplative Christianity (or any other faith) because it is "not what the people want." He is looking to the wrong throne for his direction. The real one will not put up with this forever.
Resist the corporate religionist who tells you he must follow a particular course because to do otherwise would be bad for his organization. If he must perform as a non-Christian because of his work, he is in danger of his soul, not just the end of some corporation.
Understand, the man who is most alive is that one who wills to learn and wants to create.
The God who gives grace to save and keep gives grace to live and die. The various kinds of grace differ only according to felt need. Bill Wright told me, after he came home from his radiation and chemotherapy, there were quarantine signs all around him because the saving-poisons (which, apparently, failed) damaged his immune system. The first thing he did was demand the Stay Away signs be removed. He wanted people to come see him so they could start their grieving and enter healing.
Grace is the spring of which courage is the stream. If you see courage, grace is around somewhere close.
If you are a preacher of any kind, do some study on the word "agapatoi," or "beloved ones." See if you can preach on it every Sunday morning for a month. At the end of your study and application, see if you think you are part of the beloved, and why. Are you one of them (am I one of them?)? Or are we just insightful commentators on what might be love applied to some others?
Depressiveness may be the simple result of misfiring neuro-transmitters, but I somehow doubt it. Repentance, confession, soul-searching; all these actions seem to help the crestfallen soul.
After Christmas, I will have some suggestions about the future of cooperative ministry. Cooperative ministry does not mean much if you do not have an honest heart to take you from place to place.
Opinions expessed here are mine alone, not those of the church I serve or any other person.