Tuesday, December 02, 2008

More Thoughts on the church

More thoughts about the church . . . where are we and who are we?

I did some writing about my thoughts yesterday, here is some, but not all - - what are your thoughts?

Some things we need to consider. We need to . . .

. . . Think differently about our church culture
* Don’t say, “Our people won’t ___________” (insert problem).
* Instead can we say . . . “We have not led our people to ____________” (insert problem); this is a great opportunity, how are you willing to help, no complaining allowed, helpers only.

. . . Think differently about criticism and gossip
* We love to engage in gossip, especially the juicy variety and then we pass on what we want. In
essence changing some of the story to suit our sickness.
* Instead, say something good about that person. Then say no to bitterness, rage, anger,
brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Follow the one another’s, love, forgive,
serve . . . (from Ephesians 4:31-32).

. . . Think differently about the mission and vision
* Are we passionate about the mission and vision {Okay, what the heck is the mission and
vision, anyway?}
* Or are we more passionate about guarding people’s feelings, only when it suits our purposes
and rules, at the expense of the mission and vision?

. . . Think differently about people leaving the church
* The normal mindset is “we can’t let anyone leave.”
* Why keep those who are dissatisfied, they will continue to spread their poison. Anyone want

. . . Think differently about limitations
* We say, “we can’t because we don’t have _______.”
* Are we willing to become creative and not only think outside the box, but create a new box?

. . . Think differently about ourselves
* We think we are better than others. We look down on those who are not like 'us.'
* We are sinners just like everyone else, fortunately we know Jesus (hopefully intimately), so
life is different because of Jesus, but are we growing in Christ, or just the same old pain in the
booter (my boys word for the buttocks)?
* As a result, are we willing to get our hands dirty and do ministry or . . . ?

Those were some Monday thoughts. What are your thoughts?

Come on, people, I know you all have thoughts, let's get them out, because the time is coming when I will be laying as many of our PINK ELEPHANTS on the table. If they are present in our church, then they are blocking the movement of Christ and the Spirit in our church, and frankly that is 100% unacceptable.

If you are willing, what are the Pink Elephants? As an FYI, Pink Elephants in the room are issues, etc. which everyone knows exist, but nobody is willing to talk about.

Either post them here, or email them to me (mishana826@yahoo.com), and I will list them after a few days.

I told you a couple of weeks ago, I'm stirring the pot. It's time.


  1. 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
    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?
    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?
    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.
    People leaving
    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!
    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 new thoughts, 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!
    You asked for thoughts you have some of mine

  2. My concern about people leaving... Obviously some people will leave for petty reasons or what are essentially non-issues (like moving), but we do need to have a feel for why someone is leaving. Are we being unfriendly to people who haven't been members for 10+ years or shooting down ideas or offers of help because it came from someone who is new (and wears jeans to church! gasp!).

    Sometimes we need to say goodbye to someone (especially when they are here for the wrong reasons... i.e. personal glory), but we also need to periodically examine ourselves as a whole to see if we are part of the problem too.

    And I agree with the other comment about examining the by-laws. Are we being too narrow in our interpretations of scripture, or ignoring some parts altogether (because it challenges our comfort zone or our own position)?

    How do we want the congregation to give feedback? If I am unhappy about something, how do I let it be known? It may not always be obvious to members who they should talk to. It may be a more trivial aspect to someone else, but it may bother that person for a legitimate reason. If you complain to the wrong person, that won't usually get any results (and, sadly, can generate gossip) and they may not refer you to the proper person (because they don't share the concern, or because they don't know,or because they are annoyed, whatever).

    But the point is: is there a way to give concerns a voice and to prevent grumbling?

    Change for the sake of change is wrong, but resistance to change because of our insecurities or discomfort is also wrong.


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