“Strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.”
1 Corinthians 12:31
Believe it or not, I do a lot of thinking during the course of a week. I think about many of the things you think about – family, children, money, work. I also think a great deal about our church and all the “parts” that make it function in a way that honors God – worship, music, spiritual growth, stewardship, children, youth, outreach, evangelism, administration, facilities, membership, attendance, sermons, (I could go on - it’s a lengthy list). All of this has led me to think about how well we actually “do” church at CUMC. Paul speaks to us through the letter he mailed to the church at Corinth. Though they were gifted in many areas he instructed them to strive for even greater things – greater gifts. In short, he was instructing them to become “more” and in the “becoming”, he would show them a still more excellent way.
So now I am thinking about excellence in how we “do” church. More specifically, how we can work toward excellence in all the above mentioned “parts.” This is where I need you. I want your thoughts on how to make every aspect of our church excellent. Excellent for you, but especially for those who are yet to walk through our doors. What improvements do we need to make? How can we better “market” our church? How can we better meet and welcome visitors? How can we ensure they come back? How can our worship services be more inspiring? How can we improve our systems, ministries, and better use our building and facilities? How can I be a better pastor? Preacher? How can we be a better witness in our community? What will make us the best thing since sliced bread? These are things I want to know and I need you to tell me.
I don’t want to open a Pandora’s Box of complaints and drama. What I want is your thoughtful expressions of what we can do better or begin to do that will help make us a church that grows warmer through hospitality and fellowship, deeper through discipleship and personal growth, stronger through worship that both honors God and inspires, broader through ministry to each other and in our community, and larger through evangelism. I am praying that through your ideas and comments we may find a more excellent way to be the church.
Over the next several weeks you will be given simple and easy to complete questionnaires asking for your single best idea in multiple categories that will make worship more meaningful and improve the overall experience of doing and being the church. In the meantime I will be assembling a team to work with me to review the results and help in the discernment process regarding next steps before presenting any proposals. Please contact me directly if you feel led to be a part of this team or if you would like to speak with me about your thoughts and ideas.
We are a gifted church but we are called to become more so. My prayer is that we strive for greater gifts and allow God to show us a more excellent way. I hope that will be your prayer as well.