Recently I was reminded of a quote from Benjamin Franklin that I have used quite often as a good one in reference to empowering and encouraging ministry through hands-on doing ministry and getting involved. The quote is: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Recently I attended a faith formation conference. In one of the workshops some very real concerns in the church today were being discussed. The concerns were about the assumptions we tend to make about the people who come through the doors of the church each week. It was decided that we tend to think everyone speaks the language of our denomination or is actively engaged in a committed spiritual life when in many cases this is not true. During the workshop examples of some actual questions ministry leaders have been asked were given. For example, "Can you tell me why some of the numbers are big and some are small in the Bible?", "Where do I find the New Testament.", and my personal favorite, "I'm thinking of coming to church. Do I need a reservation?"
Death and dying is a topic we rarely want to talk about until it confronts us personally through our own health, a family member, or a close friend. It isn’t until that moment that we take time to investigate the best route to take for continued quality care. Our health is essential to everything we do. In my opinion, it is the same for the church. Until we actually experience smaller numbers in the congregation or budgets shrinking to the point we no longer can afford the necessities to keep the congregation active, we seldom take steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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