I started this Monday morning off behind schedule. I have three books left to read and four book reports to complete before my next Doctor of Ministry class next Monday. I had two extensive articles to write for the church newsletter, one sermon to complete, and it's Vacation Bible School week.
As the day unfolded I had a visit from the Director of the local Community Ministry Organization our church helped to begin. She told me that a church member had called her for information concerning an upcoming school supplies drive.
She added that she was hand delivering the packet. I offered her my thanks. She looked intently into my eyes and said, "You need to understand something. When members of your church call me I make it my priority to respond immediately."
She further said, "You need to know that the largest donations made to the Community ministry and the majority of their large donors are members of your church! That is why I will come to meetings when asked." The director came to a meeting last week when she was due at a reception to receive an award. She did this because I serve a church that happens to be her priority.
Her news makes clear that we have quite a number of people in our church with the ability to significantly support the ministry....but they don't. Her news means that the mantra from many, that our church is old and on a fixed income is not accurate.
I have concluded that members with financial means do not share their resources in a significant way because leaders of the church have failed to tell the story of our ministry well.
In fact, I have concluded that the church doesn't know what their present story is. When a story is told well (a story of meaningful goals for ministry) people tend to get excited about the story, excited enough to financially support the story.
The leaders of the church I serve are left to discern what story we intend to tell and live. Until then we can't expect any of our members to significantly support our ministry.
From the news about high finance I concluded the day with Vacation Bible School. I met Hui (pronounced Gee) who is the third ranked champion table tennis player in his age group. He is in fifth grade. My heart melted as I got to know little Grant and Henry. None of these children belong to our church.
I also spent time visiting with members of the Living Opera, a young adult non-profit opera group using our building for rehearsal space. The Boy Scout troop came in and out tonight offering their service to help us move as we prepare to vacate one wing or our building for the purpose of building a new building.
Variety was the name of the game today!
Every time I turned around I was met with a different story and experience today.