Word of the Week

What Makes a Church?

As we enter a season of stewardship at Washington Plaza, I am finding myself along with the leadership of the church, having conversations with folks about what their commitments might be to our organization in the coming year.

We are finding that there are some who are eager to jump in to new roles and try new things.

We are finding that some are timid, wondering what getting involved with a church beyond just attending on Sunday might mean.

We are finding that there are some who are really tired and just don't think they have it in them to keep doing what they are doing (even when I say please, I just need you for one more year) because they've done it for so long.

My heart aches for people across the committment spectrum because I know their experiences are authentic.

It takes a level of spiritual maturity at all to have the ability to make a committment to church in the first place, especially when there might be a thousand other good things to do with your time.

Furthermore, once you are involved in a church,  is very easy to become discouraged. It is as easy to become discouraged is to be encouraged. (And, I have my days too, even though it may not always appear this way on the blog). Sometimes the journey looks so overwhelming that we just don't want to attempt to climb at all. And, sometimes we wonder if our contributions really matter when they seem insignificant to us.

2693361974_1c532e1683But with all of that said, what remains true is that the church, Christ called us to build together  needs all of us to make it work.

So what makes a church? What makes a church thrive? What makes it become a vital partner and contributor to its community with the good news of Jesus?

From my in the tenth month of seeking to bring new life to a place, this is what I'm thinking;

A church needs folks are willing to do the tasks that no one may never see them do and no one will ever thank them for . . . changing the lightbulbs, taking out the recycling, cleaning the pews, making the coffee.

A church needs folks that it can count on to do what they say they are going to do.

A church needs those who are inspired by the  mission, even when the results aren't instantaneous.

A church needs those who have big ideas that bless the entire community (not just pet projects) and are willing to put in the time, attention and sometimes even finances to see them through, not alone but with the support of the entire fellowship.

A church needs a strong communication base in its office so that as activities and new projects are organized, everyone is on the same page.

A church needs those who are cheerleaders for its leadership. Though you don't feel you have the gifts to lead, we need you to help us be motivated by your compassionate and exhorting hearts.

A church needs folks who are willing to put in the time to coming to meetings (even if they seem too long), to clean-up workdays (even if you think your own house needs more help), and to mission driven activities in the community (even if you think you've already done your time by serving inside the church itself).

A church needs those who can teach, those who can pray, those who can organize, those who can write and those who can manage money. We need you all.

Without you, I am afraid, our church with its mission of sharing the hope for God's good future for all people, will not live into our potential. I can't do it alone. The trustees can't do it alone. The church council can't do it alone.

Sound like a lot of work? Yes, it is. But, work I feel is all worth it as we are building a strong community of faith.

Now, more than ever, you are needed to make our church by sharing your gifts so that we all might be blessed-- or whatever your faith community might be.