For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 1 CO 12:13
The Fall season is underway! Hopefully we are all ready and underway. Teachers are well into the school year and pastors are focusing on Reformation, Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas! Today I want to put in a good word for planning. The more complete and detailed our planning the more smoothly things are likely to run, the greater involvement you will have from members, the less you will be doing at the last minute and whatever you do will be done well – decently and in order!
You have likely heard about “I Love to Tell the Story”! This is a stewardship Initiative under the direction of Ron Bleke. It is designed to lead us to understand and appreciate how we as individuals, congregations and a district work together in a partnership based on sharing the Good News of the Gospel! Together we do what we cannot do all by ourselves.
A big part of our planning in the District Office is committed to doing a better job of telling the stories that is the fabric of our ministry in Indiana and Northern Kentucky! It is hard for our church workers to hear, remember and share the plans of our district work. Think how hard it is for the person in the pew who may hear scarcely little about all that is going on between Lexington and Gary and all the places in between!
We do have the electronic media, web, etc., The staff does try to do this when we are on the road and we report at a lot of meetings, but still the “District” remains a mystery to many people! The “District” of course is you and the place (Congregation/school/RSO. Etc.) Local schedules are often packed to the hilt with congregational and school activities. Worship times are for worship and bulletins have limited space and bulletin boards are often unnoticed and unattended too.
How about planning a District Sunday with your Bible Class? (Not the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s or Memorial Day or the 4th of July please). When do you share materials and stories about what is happening in the Indiana District and through the District? Hearing you speak about what it means to “Walk Together” as a district and synod will mean a lot! Do your people know what a Circuit Visitor is? How about a regional VP or who is in the District Staff or what in the world they do? How about Synod leaders, LWML. LHM LCFS, LCEF, district and synod conventions, conferences, etc.? How many of our universities and seminaries can they name?
Does it really matter if they know? “Church is where I go to worship. I don’t need to know anything else!” On one level that may seem to be true, but as kids grow up and move they are often quite uninformed about the church at large. They don’t sense they are part of a bigger picture than the local congregation. When it comes to stewardship it all is pretty local!
What does this have to do with Planning? If we don’t plan and prepare to share we probably will never get around to it. You could tie it in to the Reformation, Thanksgiving, budget planning, Fall stewardship effort etc.
I hope you can find some time to do that this fall. We have stuff to help you! I think a lot of people will be amazed!
There are many resources on our website. Our congregational profile is one of them. The best way to find things on our website is to do a search on a keyword. If you don’t find what you are looking for please give us a call or email us. We will be happy to help in anyway possible.