Vision Sunday - A Debriefing

Wow! What a Sunday!!  Did you hear the “spiritual” buzz that was going on in our sanctuary last Sunday?   It was actually so loud at times that we couldn’t hear each other! As I walked around the sanctuary taking it all in, this “old veteran” of church functions found himself in awe of what was happening.  Suddenly I found myself being a student again as I turned and watched and learned from all of you. 

Oh, I don’t think I learned anything I hadn’t heard in a lecture or at a workshop, but I think what was happening was that I was being reminded of what I had once learned as I saw some of these principles come to life before my eyes. Here are some of the thoughts that were and are going around in my head as I learn from this event:

First, people don’t get involved in things unless they can have a say, unless they get a chance at being involved on the ground floor.  And this was where a lot of the energy was coming from on Sunday.  And even “after” Sunday morning!  Take my daughter, Cassie, for instance.  On Sunday afternoon, Cyndy, my wife, was talking with Cassie about “evangelism” of all things.   She had sat in on the “Welcome and Engage” session and as she started processing all of this, she said, “You know we do a pretty good job with guests once they enter our doors.   I mean people are coming back.  If a young couple comes to visit on Sunday morning, we have a good chance of having them be a part of this community.  The problem isn’t with our engagement with first-time guests, the problem is before that. ‘How do we get them in that door!’”   Can I get an Amen?!  To get someone like Cassie thinking about that issue and strategizing with us on how we can engage her age population before they enter our door…is much better than me sitting down with 5 folks who are 55+ scratching our head and trying to figure it out…right?  (I call this the Cider House Rules principle…you’ll have to see the movie or read the book)

Second, sometimes it’s not what gets done that’s important, but how it gets done.  When we put together this visioning process, there were some of us who just wanted to get something done. We just wanted to accomplish one or two concrete things. We just wanted to move the inertia ball forward.   But, what I learned through this visioning process is that as important as getting things done is, HOW we get them done can be just as important!  I must take my hat off to our Visioning Team on this one.  Especially Heather Nelson.  Heather is an expert on getting people engaged, and from the beginning of this process she kept hammering into us this idea of engaging people in this process on as many kinetic levels as possible. She kept saying to us: “If we can engage their minds, heart, and creative processes…great things will come! Engagement was the key!”   People who become engaged are going to get involved.   Amazing insight from an amazing leader.

As we move forward in our visioning conversation and start taking concrete steps towards a new and more engaging Bear Creek UMC, can you do me a favor?  Can you help me, and our church stay engaged with each of you?   Share with me how we can a better job of that!  Email, text, stop by my office.  Invite me to breakfast, lunch, or coffee.   You are vital to where we are going!

Your pastor and friend, thankful for the times where I get a chance to learn from others, Brook


Tim Schaaf