What Do You Think?

Real learning happens for me in the exchange of life experiences.  Here are some of my favorite highlights from this past week:

1.  My church requires a three year commitment to serve on a Committee.  Many people are reluctant to commit to that many years of their life.  In a perfect situation, each year the same amount of people who go off the committee, should be replaced with new members.  After serving a three year term, committee members do have the option to continue serving on a year to year basis if they wish.  Many members are so burnt out after a three year term, that they want out.  That is the situation I am finding myself in.

* thought – if its true that, as Rick Warren puts in it Purpose Driven Life, we only have just enough time in the day to do God’s perfect will for our lives, and given the fact that most of us want to be right were God wants us to be WHEN He wants us there – would it make more sense to be project minded instead of calendar minded in our service commitments? – Roy

2.  In a small church like mine, needs every member to become involved in a committee, board, teach a Sunday School class, etc.  So the pool of people available to serve is small.

* The 80/20 principal is alive and well in both big and small churches.  I believe with all of my heart that most of us are attacking this issue from the bottom up instead of the top down – perpetuating the same 20% doing all of the work.  Until the masses understand the “why” behind volunteering this will never improve.  The message must come from the pastor.  The people must be inundated with the “why” – every small group, Sunday School, sermon, gathering, etc.  We don’t HAVE to…we GET to!

3.  Our goal has always been to organize opportunities for others to serve God and to meet other people’s needs.  Our projects range from giving to special church offerings (for Peace, Easter, and to support retired pastors and missionaries from our denomination) to investing a Saturday to work on a house for Habitat for Humanity.  So, we try to cover the bases of opportunities to give of both time and money with our 12 projects a year.

* That is AWESOME – I just fell in love with your “little” church.  It’s time that we all DO SOMETHING!

4.  Participation in our projects is down and I mean way down.  We are not sure if it is the economy or just lack of interest or apathy of our congregation.  (Or, maybe people are like me and are just overwhelmed with the amount of need and only have limited resources of time and money in order to meet them.  Thus, the hard decision must be made on what project to support and what to pass on.)

* Again, this is an epidemic in churches today.  It is because we have yet to drill down the “why” of service.

5.  Our church is on the verge of building an addition to our building.  Our committee is worried that we are focusing on a building and not programs which serve other.

* I agree with your committee.  We must take our traditional focus off of “come to the church” and go to where the needs are.  More and bigger buildings just mean less focused resources to the real need.

6.  My deep fear is that we are Christians who just want to come to church for an hour or so, once a week, sit in a chair, perhaps listen, and don’t feel that we need to serve our God and Savior.

* yes, yes, yes!!!!!  And the sad part is that it’s not “the Christian’s fault”.  It’s leadership that has perpetuated this model of church.  We are beginning to witness foundational threatening tremors to this church model due to economic pressures.

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