Sunday Women’s Note: After we posted about the characteristics of people and challenges of ministry in both the North and the South, we received these observations of a southern friend who is currently pastoring a northern church. It is written by Allen Baker, pastor of Christ Community Presbyterian Church.
Graciousness Wini and I absolutely love serving the people of New England. We find our people to be incredibly gracious and kind to us.
Lack of gossip One of the strengths we have found here amongst our people is the lack of gossip or spreading of bad reports about people. I am not sure how this plays out in other congregations, but the people of our congregation do not gossip. I tend to think, of course, that this is partly due to the grace of the gospel, but it may also be due to the New England mindset of privacy.
Reserved We have found that the New Englander is slow to "open up". He tends to be suspicious at first and quite reserved in moving toward us in a stronger relationship. After we have gained his trust, however, he is a very strong and loyal friend.
Less social activity A downside, it seems to us, of ministry here is the flip side of the New Englander's reserve. He tends not to be as social as the southerner and so the parties at Christmas, etc. have not been very frequent.
Slow to accept Christianity We have found unbelievers eager and willing to talk about faith but slow to embrace true Biblical Christianity.