Friday, July 18, 2008

Baby steps continue . . .

Before seminary I worked in the field of mental health as a social worker. I remember something one of my supervisors said to me . . . “Lydia remember baby steps are safer for our clients and will get them where they want and need to be . . . It may take more time, but they will get there.”

Her words often play in my mind when frustration is growing with how slow we seem to be moving in this process of transformation, but now that first steps have been taken this baby seems to be gaining speed.

The church’s governing board has finally decided to get bids on making some structural changes to our sanctuary building that the church consultant suggested over six months ago . . . changes to enlarge and lightened the Narthex allowing us to us it as a gathering spot for fellowship before and after Worship.

Things we are getting bids on --

taking down the paneling and sheet rocking;
new front doors with glass;
taking out two rows of pews so to double the gathering space;
ripping out carpet and replacing with ceramic tiles;
putting in a drop ceiling with new lighting;
getting rid of bulletin boards; and
having a rack for name tags (another post).

Years ago before seminary I served on governing boards as a lay leader and couldn’t quite understand the minister’s emphasis on the appearance of the facilities . . . his words now come from my mouth . . . “yes, I understand that church is more than a building, but how the building is taken care of and how it looks says something about our relationship with God.”

A recent Minute for Transformation by one of our members used this post from the Blog GOD REVOLUTION by the Reverend James Kim over at Trinity Presbyterian Church in The Colony, TX (

Most homes have two ways of living: regular living, and "guests are coming" living.

We all know what regular living is like. That's our everyday life and everyday living. And then, when we know guests are coming over, our regular living goes through a transformation.At least in my home it does. My wife goes on alert and she begins barking orders and the rest of us come to attention to obey her orders . . .

clean up your room
take out the garbage
vacuum the house
clean the floor
straighten the living room
do the dishes
put on the coffee maker

And pretty soon, the house is in shipshape order. And we're ready to receive guests.

I mention this because churches function like our homes. We get real comfortable doing things certain ways. And we forget what it's like to be a guest or a visitor. And worse, we forget that we're expecting visitors.

A church that doesn't expect visitors has some serious problems.But a church that expects visitors and doesn't get their house in order is just plain dumb.Getting our church house in order is much more than having a clean place. It's an attitude and an expectation that visitors are indeed coming over because our people are inviting people. And just as we go out of our way in our home, church members need to think intentionally about how best we can welcome, receive, and host visitors in our church homes.

So, you expecting any visitors this weekend?

We are and we have had an increase in visitors and repeat visitors since this process began . . . coincidental?

Apollos and I are merely servants who helped you to have faith. It was the Lord who made it all happen. I planted the seeds, Apollos watered them, but God made them sprout and grow. What matters isn't those who planted or watered, but God who made the plants grow. The one who plants is just as important as the one who waters. And each one will be paid for what they do. Apollos and I work together for God, and you are God's garden and God's building. 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 (Contemporary English Version)

Learning to run,


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