I am interested to see how these concepts apply to Berryton United Methodist Church and the Great Plains Annual Conference. The engagement level of the current congregation today is evident to people who may visit the congregation for the first time. Engagement also makes a difference in how readily someone is to share with others about their experience with God and the local church. I am looking forward to more today and will be paying attention to how we can make progress in congregational engagement.
At one of my favorite coffee shops, I overheard a group of students say to the barista,
“We’re going to work here when we get old enough.”
I was struck by the power of this statement. The environment and culture is so enjoyable that someone would want to work there in the future. Not just be present or come from time to time, but commit time in the future to working to create the space for other people.
I hope to lead congregations with a similar culture. I hope that people don’t just come to worship or take part in ministry activities because it is nice or fills some niche in their life. I hope that people are so engaged by the the purpose and culture of the congregation that they want to help make space for others to share what they have experienced.
As I wrote yesterday, I overseeded my lawn this fall and have been pleased to see that some of the seeds have sprouted and are growing. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth spreading seed over the entire lawn. It seems as if the seed will not grow everywhere, so why should I bother with the time and cost of spreading over the entire lawn.
After reading the Parable of the Sower this week (see Planting Seeds – Part 1), I gained some helpful perspective. Across my yard, it is difficult for me to know exactly which places are ready to receive seed – it will fall correctly, get enough water, have soil that is ready, etc. There are preparation steps that I take to prepare the soil, however ultimately it is difficult for me to determine where the seed will grow. It is a faithful effort for me to spread seed across the entire yard, knowing that not all of it will sprout.
Likewise, it is worth my time in ministry to spread the seed of God‘s Word in places where I am not sure if it will take root and grow. It is impossible for me to tell who will respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ unless it has been given a chance to take hold in someone’s life. I feel that part of my responsibility as a pastor in the United Methodist Church is to spread the seed of God’s word in every area and by every means that I am able. The next step is to be attentive to where it has begun to take hold and continue to support, equip and sustain those persons in their journey of faith.
One of the things that I found to be most fascinating in the trip to LifeChurch.tv was that currently the content used for the internet campus is not live. While the content (video stream) is not live, the worship experience is live. Those who are there to worship together make the experience live, even though the content was recorded at a worship experience at an earlier time.
They had previously had live streaming from one of the physical campuses, but found that this did not allow for production for the internet campus to match what was happening in the video stream. It turns out that people do not care if the content is live, the experience is live and worship happens.
On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.
I have registered this blog and am looking forward to participating in a few days. I will participate because:
I believe that caring for God’s environment is an important part of living as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I believe that it is important to take part in conversations that are shaping culture.