Mission part 1
The Church lady says
Why aren’t people coming to church, serving, coming to parties etc.? I have heard this seventeen different ways at every church I have ever served or been a part of. I wonder if this is the same gripey impulse that creates static in the commons. When we kvetch about the people that aren’t there, you are playing small ball - worrying about deck chairs - or whatever cliché suites you. The thing I have learned about this very human tendency is that it creates radioactive fallout. You can’t see it, but this radiation breaks the DNA of people it touches. If we focus on the shortfalls of people, we have a hard time hearing through the static of our own judgmental attitude and we get radiation sickness.
But, If we focus on our mission to love and serve the whole world, God will provide the people to support that mission.
Years ago, a person, not Ascensionite, carried around a most sour look on his/her face. I used to ask him/her if everything was ok, but I have stopped. The response was always robotic with this plastered smile, “O course I am fine, I have the joy of the Lord”. Not five minutes later the face would fall and the stormy cloud return over his/her head. I think most of us can’t fake joy, and we can’t fake away the radiation of complaining.
Ascension has about an 800 batting average on joy and welcome, but we can always improve. As we improve, more people will get into the boat with us to help row. We all have a job to do, that is to have fun in the Lord.
I don’t want to sound flippant, but I would like my new title to be the CFFO, Chief Fun and Fellowship Officer at Ascension. Our consultant has been reminding Ascension about fun. This fun can even be, should be, part of vestry, finance, mission, and outreach committees. Our goal is that every church meeting be modeled after Jesus’ committee structure – they got together, learned together, ate together, prayed together, and loved each other. As they left, they did not just leave, they were sent on a mission.
A usual church model is not like this at all. St. Swithen’s has a slot to fill and the one who seems to come the most on Sunday gets “voluntold” to fill the slot. Once they say yes they bide their time until the term is over. What if every committee meeting was fun and peaceful? Gasp, it can be true and it's not just a pipe dream. I believe we will be reworking the whole way we do ministry. Meetings can be a place for the work to get done for sure, but the Kingdom building would happen in fellowship because we chose to meet together. WWJD do in committee?
As your CFFO, I want to constantly be helping fellowship and fun be the fuel for mission. Since the only strength and authority I have is derivative of Jesus’ power and authority and since Jesus has the wheel, I am learning to enjoy the ride as well.
My CFFO pledge to you all via Justin Timberlake,
I’m bringing funny back
We church people don’t know how to act
So let’s turn around and take it back