Church, if we just decided to be The Church, there is so much WORLD to which we could be attending*
For the life of me, I cannot figure out why we don’t want to.
Instead, we want members. We want people to come to our church events. We want people to like our linoleum and our pastors. We want to entertain, sustain, enliven, and energize public crowds, but we are not as good at that as are the stadiums, restaurants, dance clubs, and farmer’s markets. Instead what we want is a secure compound with a secret tunnel into Heaven for the day the zombie hordes finally breach the wall. Except, we aren’t very good at administering that, either.
You know what we are good at, though?
Hugs and empathy in a world which celebrates toughness and stoicism.
Preparing and sharing food in ways which make everyone feel like a friend.
Talking about the dead, and holding hands with the dying. The worst experience in the world is a death devoid of meaning and a funeral among people without a faith.
Feeding strangers-even the dirty, crazy, lazy, unworthy ones.
Entrusting the management of our organization to the hands of just about anybody who comes through our doors.
And what resources do we have to help us offer these gifts to our neighborhoods and communities?
Houses and churches-empty or underused spaces which we can employ free of charge; and they are in every town in Iowa. Some of them were even built where there is not a town.
If we could wrap our heads around it, we have a shared bank account with tens, hundreds, thousands, and through the Connection, millions of other people. (This in a culture which rewards people that hoard, hide, and password protect every possible resource they can get their hands on.)
Families that are not related by blood-we have cousins, grandparents, children, parents, and siblings to spare.
Oodles of people with time, flexible schedules, and unique life experiences who can bridge the space between faith communities and their local School Boards, Chambers of Commerce, Housing Authorities, Hospital Administrations, Parent-Teachers’ Associations, Insurance Companies, Retail Stores and Sports Booster Clubs.
Hands on opportunities for people to gain experience in:
Fine Arts, Business Administration, Volunteer Management, Computer Literacy, Grant Writing, Journalism, Audio/Visual Technology, Public Speaking, Financial Management, Web Design, Systems and Information Technology, Spreadsheets, Wood Working, Plumbing, Electrical, Auto Mechanics, Nursing, Meeting Management and Facilitation, History, Humanities, Social Studies, Biology, Food Science, Event Planning, Hospitality, International Relations, Cultural Exchange . . .
A story that always ends with a Beginning.
The world has issues. The world has problems. The world has patriotism, politics, and Oscar nominations to worry about.
You know what we have? We have the memory of God. And that memory, that reminder of who and whose we are, it has the power to do nothing less than transform the world. What would you rather spend your time attending to?