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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pews

(It was this word or the other one.) I think too often we spend much too much time trying to figure out how to get bums in pews! Not that it isn't related or important or even easy. But how very easy it is for us to get distracted by the question: How can we get more bums into our pews?

It's the Field of Dreams school of Christian thought: if you build it, they will come. And then we try very hard to figure out just exactly what kind of thing to build. Should it have hymals and organs or praise bands and power point? What will bring the young folks back? Should we encourage people to bring in their coffee?

But that's not the right question. That's not what matters most! I'd be thrilled beyond belief if I could say: Those folks aren't here today because they're out blessing their community. They're serving the needy, or working on an important justice project or visiting in a hospice or cleaning out an animal shelter or...

I've even been known to come down in favour of coaching a kids' soccer game that happened to be scheduled on a Sunday morning. If that's what it takes to be part of a community, to inject values and teach fair play with my kids and their peers, I would rather be there than with my bum in the pew.

Now please give me something of value when I do show up. Help me learn those values and give me skills for teaching our children. Support my efforts to create Christian community. Don't scold me for not coming to sing hymns with you every single week. I'll vote with my feet.

Can we please pay attention to what questions we should be answering? Is it how to get more bums in our pews? Or is it something else?

Posted by Marion

4 comments:

  1. Marion: It certainly isn't all about increasing attendance on Sunday morning, it truly is about bringing peace, hope, love and joy to individual lives. However, I believe that when we are successful at being involved and committed to this mission it will generate a desire by all to be a part of a worship service of celebration with like minded worshipers. I see the worship attendance as a very important monitor of our success in the real effort, of bringing the peace of Christ to our communities. I believe that both are inextricably tied to each other, we can only succeed in our attendance by also excelling in our calling.

    Mel

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  2. I need my bottom on a pew at least once a week (and if truth be told, I liked to be there more often).
    I make choices all the time, and I choice to worship. There is plenty of time for community involvement, because it is so important for me. What I really need is worship to help me stay spiritually healthy.
    (And that's maybe just me though!)

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  3. The discussion about "pews" reminds me of a book I read by Ruth Graham (daughter of Ruth & Billy Graham) called "In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart". First of all we, individually, need to find peace within, then have empathy for the ones sitting in the pew beside,infront and behind us, THEN we can move into the community or welcome the community with the true message of the Christ. His ministry was to the poor, the broken-hearted and those at dis-ease but first, he was calm and peaceful within to then ministry to a broken world. "God can heal our broken hearts with redemptive ink" says Ruth. "What's the Good Word" is part of my daily meditation to open me to the day ahead with new eyes. Many thanks to Carman & Marion but also for those who write on the Blog.

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  4. Well said, Auntie. There's more than one measure of success. If you aren't getting the answers you want, you may be asking the wrong question.

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