Bigger on the Inside: The #Tardis #Church

My church works hard to be community oriented and to be out in the neighborhood.

1 that runs a Neighborhood Farmer’s Market in our parking lot from May-Oct, completely thru volunteers

1 that arranges for free exercise classes (with babysitting) during the farmer’s market

A Market that book-ended by 2 Chicken BBQ fundraisers (the company cooks, we serve)

p.s. we put up great signs for these events. GREAT signs!

1 that puts on a health fair, plays, concerts, art shows.

1 that has done a clothing exchange, electronic recycling,

1 that has a weekly free playgroup and runs a 2, 3, and 4yr old Nursery School

1 that hosts over a dozen AA’s, 3 other congregations, 2 community choirs, an immigrant ministry  & the neighborhood association

When I talk to people about my church, the reach is far.

Our location is good, most people have stepped into our building at some point for various things

Our Farmer’s Market is well known, we are possibly the best small farmer’s market in the city

And everyone is shocked, I mean shocked by how small we are….they think we have 150 people at least

keep-calm-its-bigger-on-the-inside-1

Why is that?

Because we are bigger on the inside

That’s what happens when a church holds God and the Community in their hearts..

bigger

we end up growing in ways that we can’t even comprehend….

And God increases our efforts twofold/fourfold/tenfold

yoda

Its time to STOP thinking of ourselves as a small church, and to start thinking of ourselves as bigger on the inside

Katy’s Seminary Class

 

Great thoughts about cultural shift and how it should be taught here!

If I were leading a practicum on ministry I’d probably include the following in the course/cotinuing ed. Workshop

Media: what it is, what it means, and how to communicate effectively in a low/no media environment<–Not Touched and currently the most ongoing hurdle

How to handle critiques on a. clothing b. editing skills c. family dynamics  <–these are brought up as issues, but not really strategized

How to write an effective newsletter (and pulling apart why newsletters are important)<– We NEED to learn how to do this on paper and online, because most people do it because its always been done and its not an effective piece of ministry.

Alternatives to Committees: exploring MANY different options (not just the seasonal taskforce) and how to implement

How to read a budget & how to put one together<–a VERY necessary skill, that is not taught at all even if you aren’t the one doing it, you need to know how its done

Stewardship Campaigns: (NOT how to do one) figuring out timing and leadership<–The theology is taught, but the practice of which is left entirely up to the pastors I ended up going to a conference which is layleader run, it was a good handbook of running a basic campagin, but I had many deeper issues (what about your congregants struggling with debt? what if your roof is falling in over your ears? How do we fundraise in a way that the bottom line isn’t actually the money) I do reccommend Consecration Sunday & the Kaleidoscope Conference, but I think they are merely the beginning of what we can do…

Social Workers: When to call, what to say and how to best get help for those beyond the church’s capabilities<–In four years of ministry I’ve already had to call social workers multiple times, this is surely as big an issue as suicidal tendencies, which we are definitely taught about!

Staff: How to run an effective staff, how to be supportive, yet in charge. How to deal with the cowboy personalities whether they be the choir director, the Sunday School Teacher or the renegade elder<–Again, there is little outlining what kinds of things help to SUPPORT a staff, everyone know what needs to get done, but how can we help our people to do it, are we practicing justice? (and in both the scenarios of a church with money and a church without)

Highlighting Strengths: we are all told to do this, <–How? and how to not just Tell a congregation, but also to show them! make them part of the narrative! Sample Exercise Be Wormwood (From Screwtape letters) and denounce ALL THE GOOD in the congregation and explain how its getting in the way of evil,

How to help someone move towards eldercare options/nursing homes<–A HUGE issue in most churches, when to help (and when to not) where to draw a good boundary about the help the church is giving, etc.

Community Connections<–Ideally this is beyond networking! Who are potential partnerships for the congregation? How can you meet them? How can you be supportive of your local community

Look a whole Conference worth of what I didn’t learn in seminary