|Denominational Ice Cream||| Print ||
|Written by drk|
|Sunday, 01 February 2009 06:57|
Denominational Ice Cream
People in churches and denominations like all different flavors. Would you pull up a nearby stool and let's talk about what various kinds of ice cream tastes we have in common...
Every time we go up to the ice cream vendor and ask for a scoop we have to think about how much we want - a single scoop or a double. And sometimes we may even want to try a triple scoop - one of each of our favorite flavors.
Here in the south its hot most of the time and we have to lick the cone fast to keep it from sliding down into our lap.
Sometimes, we just want a little scoop -- just to save room to eat dinner later.
Some people are more fond of ice cream than others. Me... I eat ice cream only for the chocolate. Lots of people don't like to eat cold things. My grandkids want the kind with cookies and nuts - or jelly beans - and I don't like that at all.
This idea of being able to buy what we want seems so normal that we can't imagine going to an ice cream store that would only sell one flavor or only allow us to buy a triple scoop!
But... what do we offer as a church? As a ministry? Do we have variety in what we make available?
Sometimes schedules don't allow a three hour praise and worship service - does that make those who don't stay unspiritual?
Some people aren't ready to eat a flavor that they have never tried before...
Maybe they just want a little taste - and try your ideas gradually.
There may be many VALID reasons why ministers need to appeal to multiple markets.
So what do we do with those who just aren't as hungry as we are? Maybe they will get more hungry next week, or next year. But... if we don’t offer them a small sample - perhaps they will never come back to try all of what we have to offer.
Should we take a survey and only serve the ONE flavor that everybody can agree on eating today? How boring that could get? Trying to make everyone happy by limiting our choices... just makes everything mild and consumer friendly won't work. However, we do need to continuously provide a variety of choices.
What about those who want licorice ice cream or hot pepper? Is there a place for them?
Here are some obvious ideas for creating better church FLAVORS for serving more ice cream:
PREMISE: We cannot sell ice cream if we only offer our favorite flavors. Neither can we gather the promised harvest by using our own preferences and partialities. We must look and listen to the "harvest" and allow them to tell us the flavors that they like.
III. We must switch from the "FOCUS" away from the "Church building" and onto providing a safe environment of REAL fellowship, koinonia, edification, family, and community.
I. We must convert our tendencies for judgmental accusation to understanding and compassion. We must change the condemning flavor of Guilt & Shame to genuinely caring about others in love.
· Jesus actually sought out dishonest tax collectors, prostitutes, the woman caught in adultery, and the Samaritan woman at the well.
· Trying to win people by making them feel “guilty” or ashamed just won't work anymore. Like it or not, our society's moral values are no longer Victorian. The frightful stories about the tormenting and vengeful consequences of sin won't win many souls these days. But, belonging and loving are still the answer to what all people need.
· We must change our ideas about effective evangelism to that of actually caring.
Everyone is totally sick of eating too much manipulation. Unbelievers and believers alike have had enough. Exploitation with obvious hidden agendas are no longer going to be tolerated. Believers aren't stupid - it's not that difficult to identify.
The Spirit of God woos us to freely take action with self esteem and dignity.
IV. We must shift from endless word searches and superstition to reality, truth, relevance, and common sense. We must transition from useless denominational debates to authenticity and living Truth. Most of us don't want to quarrel about Greek-based logic anymore.
· No longer can we eloquently explain the subtleties of remote and inapplicable Scriptures. Everyone needs answers - and now - to the dire problems that they face. They need genuine solutions to what is really happening in their daily lives.
Have non threatening sessions and small groups so that people can ask questions and get acquainted.
You can always offer Bible College curriculum for those who want to pursue deeper learning.
V. We must transition from gravity and seriousness to mutual participation and play. People everywhere are bored and looking for FUN flavors. If you don't offer it, they will go somewhere that does. The world wants to party and be happy.
· Have lots more really fun times that aren't so somber. Play games, go on picnics, laugh, giggle, and enjoy LIFE.
· Preach about LIFE and living and not always about the endless dying to self and the uncontrollable carnal nature!
· Show them how to be supernaturally natural - not weird, religious, and superstitious.
VI. We must change our ideas about leadership. People want to be involved.
· Allow participation, questions, and involvement. Cause each member to participate in tasting the incredible taste of camaraderie and belonging.
· Teach and optimize the gifts and talents in the church.
· RELEASE them to use their gifts and talents.
· Have a church website where members can chat and have social interaction to make friends.
· Publish Newsletter and ezines with articles written by your members. Let them pick their subjects and express ideas that could be about things that everyone doesn't like.
· Organize compassionate service opportunities to help the needy and feed the hungry.
Get rid of the poverty mentality.
· Realize the errors in previous translations and teach about Godly prosperity!
· Provide opportunities for business minded people to participate and teach.
· Allow marketplace people to train others in business.
VII. We must vary our flavor of music and sometimes make it shorter!
· Enjoy a variety of music styles... and instruments. The churchy music that always sounds the same really gets old fast. I for one am tired of it!
· Some people don't like to eat cold ice cream, or endlessly wave banners, or march around, or hear loud music. Others like loud rock music. Make a place for them too.
· If you have "Songs of the Lord" during service - record them and learn them. Make these the "songs of the house"... rather than always singing other people's music. You know... don't the same songs in the same styles over and over.
· Offer times of long praise and worship for those that want to enter further into God's presence.
What are your ideas? What flavors do you like?
Frankly, we may find that most customers will start trying out more and more varieties of our flavors if we let them have a little sample first - so that they feel in control of their choices and can enjoy their experience. Then, they will ask for more.
Remember, not everyone who walks into your ice cream parlor is looking for a triple strawberry ripple and maple-nut scoop...
|Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 12:24|