Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thinking about...

Now that we have started in on The Present Future DVD Study, some of the other things I've been thinking about doing, either individually or as a church, are:
  • The idea of a 'prayer place' that I mentioned the other day in this post.
  • Adding the element of texting to my sermons. Putting my cell number in the bulletin and letting people know that if they have a legitimate question dealing with the sermon they can feel free to text it to me while I'm preaching. I will then take a few minutes at the end to address any questions. Not that I can guarantee any answers, but I'm sure there are sometimes good questions that people have, and texting will allow them to be asked somewhat anonymously (at least to the rest of the congregation). I'm somewhat hesitant to do this, because I don't think on my feet real well - I prefer to contemplate things for awhile - but I think it could possibly help people feel a little more included in the Word portion of the gathering. I dunno. We'll see.
  • Praying through the neighborhood - I've been considering this for awhile. I would like to go door to door in the neighborhood around the church and just ask people if there is anything I can pray for them about. I will probably take a notebook to write things down and to keep a record. I'm not sure exactly how to convince them that they don't need to "come to church," but I think it's a start in building some relationships and hopefully showing that the kingdom goes beyond church walls.
  • Practicing Hospitality - The last book I read had a link to Alan Roxburgh's website and they have a bible study called "Practicing Hospitality." I've just glanced through it, but this looks like just the thing I've been looking for - a way for people to invite others into their homes to have spiritual discussions. So I downloaded the study, and I'm thinking that once we're through with the Present Future study I may offer this one for anyone that's interested. I really think this could lead to something, not only for our church, but, shoot, it could even be the start of something entirely other.
  • The Basement - We are also looking into maybe redoing the church basement next year. I would really like to do this. Put some carpet down, paint the ceiling and walls, add a fireplace, do some decorating. I think we need a place that is less institutional looking. While not really "outward-focused," I think it could change our attitudes somewhat and be a little more inviting.
  • Also, while not really something I am going to "do"... but something that I just realized maybe needs emphasized... I try to talk often about "change" in the church - if for nothing else just so people know that it is to be expected. But I realized that maybe it is a bit unsettling for people to think that we are instituting changes just for the sake of change. Perhaps I need to emphasize that the change isn't really being instituted by the church - CHANGE HAPPENS in life - and the church merely needs to be constantly addressing the changes that occur in life. I mean, people get older, kids grow up, ailments develop, people split apart, get married, change jobs, lose jobs, make money, move, economies change, cultures, and all sorts of other things. Now, certainly the the message of hope that the church has to offer doesn't change... but where and how it applies to peoples lives does. So we need to be constantly aware of the changing shape of our lives and the world we live in. I think I need to begin to address change more from that aspect (though in a more concise way).
Stuff like that...


Jim said...

Re. texting - you really want to give them an excuse to be huddled over their cell phones while you talk? I have a hard enough time paying attention sometimes in church as it is! :o) Esp. when I am doing something technological, like running the PowerPoint remote clicker or this last week the sound board. Looking at all the distractions on my phone, even if I first went there to send a question, would be a rabbit hole of lost attention. "Ooh! Shiny!"

There are ways to set up free, anonymous surveys (that can have open-ended questions). I wonder if perhaps posting a link to that would at least allow people to ask questions, if not right in service then afterwards, and give you the time to mull and respond later?

I like the praying through the neighborhood idea, although I would be suspicious/off-putting if someone came to MY door offering it. Ironic.

Re. change - the thing that struck me from your last set of notes is that change can mean real grief to people who like the status quo. While yes, change does happen, and the church has to adapt, don't forget in that list of things you give as to why life is all about change, maybe some people (not all) are looking to the church to be exactly the opposite of that - timeless, resistant to change and hence comforting because it is the same ol', same ol'. Ya know?

Tom said...

Jim Regarding Texting:

I really struggle with texting in general because I see it as a tool to communicate. But I don't think my kids see it that way. There is a subtle difference that I'm not sure I understand. I think they see it more as how they communicate rather than a way to communicate. (If there is a difference and if that makes any sense.) Take texting away from me and it is a very slight inconvenience. Take texting away from them and it is similar to removing their vocal chords maybe.

Whether that is good or bad is another topic altogether. And, like I said, I don't understand it so this is just a guess. But as to your point about being distracting, yes, it will be distracting to a good number of people and inhibit their ability to receive and give feedback on the information given. But NOT doing it will also inhibit another set of people from receiving and giving feedback on the same information. I think it is just another example of how we are becoming more diversified and the challenges we face.

Jim said...


i c ur point. LOL

Isaac Horwedel said...

I think I'm with Jim on this one. I definitely see the value of a person being able to ask questions anonymously during a service, but I also think it could potentially distance people from one another. If someone texts a question that other people might have a problem with it could cause suspicion, e.g. "I wonder who asked THAT question?!" etc

Maybe I'm a little biased on this one, but I also think it's possible for people to become too secure in their anonymity. It's like when someone breaks up with someone else via a text as opposed to doing it in person. I realize it's not the same thing, and maybe I'm just kind of "old fashioned" but I think if it becomes really normal for people it may make them less willing to talk openly.

Just my .02

I really like the idea of a "prayer place." There's been a couple of times when I was at the University where I wanted to go pray in the chapel and it was locked for whatever reason and it always kind of rubbed me the wrong way.


dan horwedel said...

Thanks for the input, guys. I'm still not sure on the texting thing - it's just an idea. While it doesn't bother me at all to have people texting while I preach, I can see it being a distraction to others. But, then, I can't watch a tv show and not also have to be doing something else (crossword, solitaire, etc.). So I think for some people just sitting there and listening to someone is just as distracting as it is if they're engaged in multiple things at the same time. but it would be hard to distinguish between literal questions and those that were disguised as something else; as well as merely deciding which questions were legitimate and which were not. So... I dunno. We'll see.

I do think it would be a way to engage a certain segment of the congregation who otherwise doesn't really feel all that engaged (whether it's younger people, or introverts). But I understand how this could be teaching bad tricks too. Hmm.

Lots of stuff to think about. Thanks again!