So, I joined the Pinterest crew. A little late to the party I know. I had a mild interest (not quite ready to add the P to my interest I guess) in the things that went on there. It seemed like a timewaster, as if our society really really needed another means by which we can waste time, envy others’ creativity and apparent abundance of time to act on said creativity, and then stew on the fact that we have five unfinished projects at any given moment.
But then I joined and realized what it should be doing for me. It should be stirring my creativity. It should be giving me goals. It should be telling me what I absolutely loathe and should stay away from. It should be encouraging me to think about what I have already and how much I am truly blessed.
And it occurred to me as I was reading through one woman’s step-by-step list that this is the way a church family should be. We should be learning from each other. We should be learning from mistakes (whatever you do, don’t use gel glitter) and benefitting from triumphs (use dry pasta not cooked). We should be tuned in to other peoples’ strengths and honing them. Everyone is great at something. Are we giving opportunities for people to discover that something and get better at it?
And I’m not just talking about skills, though that is of course helpful. I’m talking about stories. Are we looking for ways to highlight people within our congregations – giving them chances to tell their stories, hearing their life experiences, comparing notes, offering support when asked for it, celebrating victories? Do we have a conscious, deliberate way of digging into each others’ lives (with permission of course) and unearthing all the gems that lie behind the Sunday polite communications and relatively shallow interactions?
Many churches will insert cries of “home groups! small groups! d groups!” whatever groups you call them. Yes, sure. That happens. Hopefully it happens well and it incorporates a high percentage of your regular attendees. But I see those smaller gatherings as feeder groups. Hey this awesome thing is going on our lives, let’s share it in church. Or come alongside us because we are going through the darkest days of our lives and no one knows about it and it’s hard to actually answer the question “how are you?” on a Sunday morning in between services when the asker is halfway out the door.
So I guess I’m talking a metaphorical bulletin board. A place to pin up snapshots of what’s going on in your church life. Our church has great photos up of our youth group kids. It’s awesome. Unless you’re a parent or volunteer, you have no idea what these kids do. And we have a board for missionaries and the occasional local highlight from newspapers. Also awesome and necessary. And it’s a start.
Now excuse me while I go make some hot dog octopii (sp?).