Here are some comments from Anonymous (part 1).
I received two responses from Anonymous, and am not sure if they are one and the same. Here are these comments . . .
We have not led our people to evangelize. We are good at taking care on each other once people are here. We have an opportunity to learn to promote our church, invite others to come, and follow up on those that are missing.
Lots of opportunities there.
My responses - Good observation on that one. We could learn to do evangelism, however, we have become comfortable since the church grew after we moved to Rt. 9. There are lots of missed opportunities. Do we really care that people are going to hell?
Gossip. Think to yourself, is that story feasable? Could there be more to that story?
Is that story worthwile for me to know? WHAT GOOD DO I DO TO PASS ALONG SOMETHING THAT I ONLY HEARD SECOND HAND?
My response - Good questions to ask when someone is giving you the dirty low down about someone. All we need to do is ask them why you need to know this about someone else, and if we should go and tell ___________ what is being said about them and by whom!
Mission and passion
Do we as a church all know what our church vision is and how we all fit into that vision. Do we have a clear cut vision? or are we shooting for nothing and hitting it?
My response - No, no and kinda-sorta. I am not sure the church has ever had a clear cut compelling vision, which means we are shooting from the hip and having some success, but not the amount we should have. That will change next year, with some ideas I have for vision discovery. My vision for the church is that 'we are passionate and contagious about Jesus and we make a relevant difference in the world.' That is pretty basic and simple, but there is a lot that is packed into it.
The rules should fit the mission. We can't just choose to ignore the rules sometimes and follow them others. That is how people get hurt, mad and leave. We need to tackle the church by-laws (Divorce, Women etc) and adapt them to what we need to do. The rules should work for us and not against us. But we must have rules and all follow them. It will work.
My response - We need to take a good look at the by laws, what is written and what is unwritten. Do our by-laws get in the way of mission? If yes, the by-law needs to go. At the same time we need to have some structure or there is chaos, yet, would not a little chaos be fun (yes for me) if the chaos was the result of lots of ministry taking place and lives being changed!
I don't want unhappy people to stay where they are not happy. Life is too short. But I have a more bold approach. I want to teach, convince, educate, that the mission is good, and to jump on board and come along and be part of something exciting and worthwhile. If I take the approach to show the door to everyone who doesn't agree with me I will soon be standing in a room by myself!
My response - The approach is not to show the door to people who don't agree with me or with you or with anyone. We need to build a consensus about what this church represents, what our mission is (advancing the kingdom of Christ - according to the articles of incorporation). How are we advancing the kingdom of Christ? Are we, or are we advancing our kingdom?
I'm not looking to kick anyone out, but if someone is really unhappy with all of our changes (there really have not been that many), then they should leave if they are going to be a negative influence. If they are willing to stick around and get involved in ministry and work towards advancing the kingdom, then great! We should be teaching and educating and equipping people for ministry, but we need to get people out of their comfort zones, and work together, as one body, for the good of the kingdom and growth of the kingdom. I am a firm believer that faithfulness produces fruitfulness. It's a continual image from John.
Outside the box thinking.
Not everything has to be new to be good,nor is everything old the only way. A mixture of our heritage, mixed with , and new generational thinking, situational adaptations of the practice of faith while protecting the fundamentals of the faith will create a new box.
Are we brave enough to look at a new box. Do we want a new box or do we want things to never change? Thought-- We were lucky to have had years with little change and we were unlucky that we got comfortable that we didn't have to change!
My response - The statement which grabs me is "Are we brave enough to look at a new box." That is a crucial statement. Are we really brave enough to look at a new paradigm, a new way of doing ministry. It does not mean the old way was wrong, but is there a better way, a way which can be measured so we can determine did we get it right, or did we miss our mark. If we don't measure what we do, how do we know if we hit the target?
The last sentence is very true. Years with little change leads to stagnation and after stagnation comes death, if we do not move / change. We're comfortable, and we need to remember God is a God of comfort, not comfortability. He never wants us comfortable, content, yes, comfortable, no.
You asked for thoughts you have some of mine.
And thank you for your thoughts!!