Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Is This What It Looks Like?

I once heard a pastor say from the pulpit, "Ministry is like pornography...you know it when you see it." That has stuck with me mostly because a pastor said it. From the pulpit. But it's also stuck with me because I'm not always sure whether I'm doing ministry or not.

I wonder if the same thing applies to being missional. I read the definitions and examples. I know that the term refers to stepping out of the church walls and into the community and beyond merely the membership. But in my own time and place, I've wondered what that looks like.

Yesterday I met two guys interested in membership. Usually for these things I set up a Saturday morning where I sit them at a table in front of a whiteboard, say some things about the history of the UCC, point them to the Statement of Faith, and ask them how they want their names spelled on their certificates. Yesterday I decided to let them pick a favorite place to drink coffee and we'd have a conversation. And for close to two hours, that's what we did. They asked questions and told me about their faith journeys and I shared parts of my own. I heard about their families and life situations. I worked in the stuff about the UCC and the Statement of Faith, but it only took five minutes of the conversation.

This has to be what missional looks like. I wasn't really educating people to become good members. I was entering into deeper relationship with people and encouraging their sense of what it means to be disciples.

I have to say I like that a lot better.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

So all of that time at Kartel's really was preparation for ministry, huh?

I like your thought process. Now how can we apply it to confirmation?

bdb

Anonymous said...

Confirmation was exactly what I was thinking on this one.

Haven't been commenting, but I've been reading. Seems like you've been in an introspective mood lately. Blessings on it all!

Oh, and, That Guy and I went to our high school reunion. It decidedly Did Not Suck. Hope things are well with you!

-That Girl From Chicago

Gene said...

See, I could do ministry or mission work like that.

the reverend mother said...

Before beginning a confirmation class (with kids that you really don't know and they don't know you) why not take them out individually and see what they are expecting and find out who they are and become vulnerable and let them ask you questions (to a point)?