Pastor’s Corner June 9th
“You change the world by being yourself.” Yoko Ono
Recently, I went to a meeting at a large church here in Lincoln. As I walked into the entry hall I noticed a coffee bar over to the side. I thought to myself, and I think I said it out loud to my companion, here’s another one of those churches with the welcome station and coffee bar. Although I don’t drink coffee, I have nothing against coffee bars, but it still seems a bit foreign to me to have something like that set up outside the sanctuary in a church. However, I think the thing that really bothers me about such a set-up is the voice in my head from many evangelism workshops that says “If you want people to come to your church you need to have a welcome station/coffee bar.” Perhaps those days are gone, but it seemed as though evangelism experts were all espousing such a thing. While a coffee bar may work in many churches, I have never served such a congregation. Setting up one always seemed a bit incongruous for the congregations I have served. This experience reminded me of all the advice I have heard over the years about how to market one’s congregation and draw in visitors. All this came to mind as I read this quote from Yoko Ono. I think she had something there. Both as individuals and collectively as a congregation, we change the world by being ourselves. In our desire to grow and draw people to our church the best evangelism tool is to be true to ourselves. I think what people yearn for is a sense of genuineness and authenticity.
Granted, we face some challenges here at FCC. Sadly, we are not alone. Many congregations like ours are struggling. Many factors contribute to our current situation, but trying to be something we are not is not helpful in the end. I think it is important for each of us, and for all of us together, to embrace who we are and be ourselves. Many forces in our world eat away at who we truly are and tell us we are not good enough as we are. I actually found the above quote in a collection of saying called “You’re Wonderful.” This box of inspirational says was something I got at one of my Weight Watchers meeting and I found another quote by Danielle LaPorte that I believe supports what I am saying.
You are important.
You are incredible.
You are loved.
Your presence is needed here.
As we move through the summer I invite us all to ponder both quotes. What might it mean for us as individuals to embrace both sentiments? What might it mean for us as a congregation if we began to see ourselves through these lenses?
In love and peace, Pastor Karen