Whatever you can do,
or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius,
power and magic in it.
I’ve been reading a lot about community development lately, specifically interested in how congregations might discover new ways to get outside our worship boxes and be more missional. My initiation into this topic was through my participation on the Together For Hope leadership team. This has let me to several books (specifically Practicing Community Development by Donald and Dorris Littrell; The Power of Asset Mapping by Luther Snow; Memories, Hopes and Conversations: Appreciative Inquiry and Congregational Change by Mark Lau Branson). I also was privileged to attend the University of Missouri Community Development Academy a couple of weeks ago.
In the course of my research and reading, two very practical questions arose (specifically from reading through Mike Green’s material):
1. What are the gifts of “hands, heads, and heart” in [your congregation]?
2. What are you willing to get off the couch and do?
Great questions for all of us as individuals and for our organizations, churches, and businesses.
5 thoughts on “What are you willing to get off the couch and do?”
1. nice couch
2. part of getting off the couch should also be- “what are you willing to get out of the pew to do?”
community development also entails getting outside of our churches and being around ‘others’- scary, but true.
good words mike.
Mike – I think this thought process is what got Susan and I off our ass and over to 412 E. Lincoln last Saturday. I appreciate you being there. As I mentioned on our blog, I got to sit through a “show” on Sunday at Susan’s folks’ church…the opposite of what Mark described at Taize. I agree with Amy above… we need to leave the pew (and the whole church building for that matter) – and go be Jesus instead of trying to lock ourselves inside the church walls and keep Jesus all to ourselves.
my husband and i recently joined a new church. one of the things that drew us was when the reverend spoke about how, while he admired the worship at many modern-day churches, he felt that for many of the more ‘mega-church’-style churches, what with making cd’s and light displays being so emphasized (our last church recently installed smoke machines), they missed the point. yes, worship is a beautiful thing, true (and for me- quite personal, i find the whole ‘spectacle’ of it quite off-putting in some churches), but it’s not the purpose of the church.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world…”
i never personally understood why so many oppose the idea of a social gospel. seems pretty much what jesus did.
Good questions, Mike, and you’ve already gotten some great responses. being at Taizé gave me an understanding of what a totally different community could be like. I think my kind of church/group would be somewhere between this minimalistic, simple, monastic community and modern church.
I can’t really name the ‘hands, heads and hearts’ of my congregation because I simply don’t feel like I have a congregation. For Taizé it is trust, peace, reconciliation, helping the poor, unity (not in systems of belief but in being one, yet diverse, body), simplicity and spirituality focused around Christ and God’s Love. I love that!!
What am I willing to get off the couch and do? You know I’m always up for beers and hot wings….. Not sure if that’s what you are looking for!!?
Personally I enjoy helping others. Amy’s quote is right up my alley. I think any community whose primary focus is not outward, finding ‘the least of these’ and providing practical help first is not worth to be called Christian. I know that’s a bold statement, but that’s just what I think. Maybe that’s why I don’t have ‘a congregation’…. 🙂 I’m all for a social gospel!!
Mark – one major question I have for you – how do you get that little symbol to show over the “e” in Taize? Can’t find a keystroke for that on the keyboard. 🙂