|Thoughts from Pastor Mark
“Being gifted doesn’t mean you’ve been given something. It means, you have something to give.” – pleasefindthis, “I Wrote This For You”
I have told many people that Second Church may be the most extraordinary congregation I have served. People in the community come from such a wide variety of backgrounds. And each brings special gifts from their schooling, domestic life, profession, and experiences in a variety of communities – not to mention your service to and participation in the church.
The down side of this giftedness is that the church structure and organization sometimes get in the way of people fully using their gifts. (This is not a criticism, but rather an observation.) There’s not much room for creative people in our style of congregational governance unless a board or the church council empower people to work outside the committee system. The fact that we call our organization for ministry “Boards” says that we are working from a dated corporate hierarchal model.
In the year ahead, I am hoping that we begin thinking and acting toward reorganizing the church into ministry teams. There are some boards that are action oriented and get a lot done in their meetings. There are others who get together mostly to talk with very little action coming from the gatherings. These less action oriented ministries need to be revamped so that people attend meetings that can both inspire and authorize ministry.
I imagine reorienting faith formation, too, toward a discipleship model, that will help school teachers be the best Christian teachers they can be, and help investment advisors to become vested in Christian values, and help students be morally grounded in their learning. I imagine teaching parents the Bible so that they can be the primary religious educators for their children, which is the way it had been for millennia, until that function was turned over to Sunday School teachers. (In my opinion, Sunday School is greatly responsible for the secularization of our families and culture at large.)
Getting to the point of what I am describing above will take a number of years and the commitment of church leaders. We don’t have to do this work, though. We could continue to do things the way we’ve always done them and get similar results. Is that the way you want to use your incredible gifts, though?
Would you do yourself and me a favor? Please pray about your gifts. What gives you energy and delight, even if it’s hard work? How might God be calling you to use them as we seek to transform the church to be more resilient and effective?