Friday, October 09, 2009

Church thoughts

Some things I've been tossing around inside my head:
  • Apparently our "prayer chain" has become unlinked. I think this is a great time to just do away with the sucker entirely. To me, there ought to be two distinct groups: (1) there should be a 'Prayer Team' - this would be people who have prayer as a spiritual gift, and who you could call any time - day or night - and ask to pray for you. (2) there should also be a 'Church Alerts' group that you could call with information like when someone goes in the hospital or is having surgery or whatever, and it would operate more like the traditional "prayer chain," where certain people would be responsible for calling other people. It's not to say you couldn't pray for 'church alerts,' but it would be different in that not everyone who wants or needs to know this information needs it at, say, 2 am; and also, not everyone is a pray-er, but that doesn't mean they don't want to know. I might even look into one of those Phone Tree things.
  • We need to start a newsletter again. Although, I don't know that I want to do snail mail, and I don't know how well email even works. Maybe the best thing is to just do a monthly "Fairview's News" insert in the bulletin. It could include when someone moves, or gets a new job, or has something significant happen. Maybe post job openings if anyone knows of any. Maybe do a member spotlight now and then so we can get to know one another. I don't particularly care much for most newsletter-y type things, but I think we need something to try to build some community again. We are getting pretty fragmented. I believe a sense of community is important, whether it's in a big church or small. I also think this would be a good way to share vision/direction. I haven't been doing a very good job of this lately, and vision is always going to be established by someone, it's only a matter of who. Sometimes by default it is done by people who shouldn't be doing it.
  • I would like to start up our "Third Sunday" meals again. We used to have a shared meal on the third Sunday night of each month. The original idea was to appoint someone to kind of oversee the kitchen, and contact different people to organize each month's meal. It didn't really work out that way, and it ended up being a competition to see who could outdo the other groups. I wonder if we could just have an old-fashioned carry-in... where everyone simply brought something to share with others, and the church would provide table service and drinks. I wish we could find someone to come up with "themed parties" even - you know, maybe in December have the 'Ugly Christmas Sweater Party', or have a 'Hat Party' or... I don't know. I'm not good at stuff like that, but I bet someone is.
  • I would also kinda like to start doing communion on a more regular basis. Maybe the first Sunday of each month. I hate making it a set-in-stone type of thing though. We'll see.
  • We need some type of discipleship training. Building community and doing service projects are great, but I think the biggest thing the church lacks is the actual spiritual development of disciples, or AS disciples. I have been hearing from too many people the idea that they seem to think they already know everything there is to know, and that's a dangerous assumption to make. I'm not at all sure how to go about this. I would like to start some small groups - as I still say that is absolutely necessary for people's spiritual development, and the church's development - but it's a tough thing to get going; and tougher still to get people to see the need for it in their own lives.
  • Maybe a place to start in regard to the previous point is to start up the Monday Night Prayer Thing again. Simply opening up the church for anyone desiring to come and spend an hour in prayer. We usually had a brief greeting, then you could spread out in the church building and pray wherever you liked. I played some soft instrumental music in the sanctuary, and had a list of things to use as a prayer guide if people wanted. Then we met at the end of the hour and prayed in a circle and left. It was always one of those things that I never really wanted to attend, but I almost always felt like I had really been in the presence of God when I left.
  • Mmm... that's probably enough stuff for now.