What if we were to run a business like a storage shed company?
All the staff would get together once or twice a week for a meeting. We would talk about how wonderful our sheds are, and spend some time relaxing in them. We would discuss improvements to their design. We would solemnly commit to teamwork. We would talk about all the people who need our sheds.
The rest of the week we would mow our yards, spend time with our families and church, and tend the veggies behind the house.
Occasionally we would pause and watch the traffic going by on the highway and wonder why they weren’t stopping in to buy sheds. We wouldn’t have any buildings on display, but the sign by the road would be very clear that we have sheds to sell.
We would give money to organizations that built sheds overseas.
When we went shopping it would occasionally occur to us that we should mention something about our sheds to the cashier or sales person. But we wouldn’t want to be a bother and anyway, they probably already have a shed in their back yard. We would settle for wearing a shirt with a classy company logo and a company bumper sticker. That way, if they needed a shed they would ask us about getting one.
Brothers, what I say to you, I say to myself:
Why let business have all the fun?
ITS TIME TO START MARKETING
Hey faithful and sporadic readers,
Yes, I have not been doing vibrantly with maintaining fresh content here. The sad truth is that as we move, it will likely continue to be sporadic, at best.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking about some lately:
I’ve been reading a book by Brandon Hatmaker called Barefoot Church. I haven’t finished the book yet, but here’s what they do:
On most Sunday mornings they totally focus on just worship in the more traditional sense. Occasionally they skip a Sunday morning service and do good in the community instead.
They have small groups that meet during the week. Twice a month or so these groups do good in their community, working with non-profits and so on.
Here’s the thing I really like about their story. They have found that serving the least has genuinely promoted church numerical growth. Their partnerships with non-profits builds appreciation and respect in their community.
This isn’t about a watered down social gospel of some kind that just does good. Its service that opens doors to long term relationships.
Their church really is being good news in their world. As you might expect, bringing genuine good news is genuinely attractive.
Lets roll baby!
I’m impressed with the power of belief. I’m talking about what happens when you believe in a person.
I have had different mentors and people I looked up to. Those who believed in me had a significant opportunity to impact me. Those who signaled doubt tended not to have very much positive influence.
A relationship really changes as soon as you say, “I’m not sure about you.”
The lesson for me is to believe in the people I want to influence. Even if they are not where I think they should be now, I need to cultivate a real optimism for their future. Then I have potential to shape that future.
Scenario 1: Skepticism
TJ goes up to some college kids that were just chilling.
TJ says, “Can I ask you an interesting question? What do you think happens to people after they die?
They just looked at him for a bit without saying anything. One gal says, “How high are you?”
TJ says, “What’s wrong? You don’t usually get asked that question?”
Scenario 2: Disappointment
Another time TJ goes up to some college kids. He tells them he’s doing a survey. Then he asks them,
“What do you think happens to people after they die?”
An awkward pause ensues. Then one guys says, “I was hopin’ it’d be more down the line of ‘how many of you are wearing socks?’”
TJ says good conversations ensued in both cases. He says its fun because you can’t prepare answers ahead of time.
My advice for you this week? Be more like TJ.
If you need to get stoked about actually living with the people you want to minister to, and if you need it by way of stories and general wittiness, consider this podcast by Clayton Shenk (York, PA), given at the BMA Church Planter’s Institute in 2011.
Oh yeah, and if you want to go to CPI this year, pack your bags real quick and meet me in Mississippi this Saturday and Sunday.