One of the young adults said this weekend:
“I wish there was some way that the church could communicate that they missed you, without communicating guilt.”
I wish that, too. For some reason, there’s a fine line between, “I’m sorry you weren’t here last Sunday” and “Big Brother is watching you.”
Maybe it’s because it’s the beginning of fall, but there are so many thin balance beams that I’m teetering on these days.
I wish I could make sure people feel welcome, without smothering them or acting like the leader of some perverse cult.
I wish I knew exactly how visitors wanted me to contact them. If I call on Monday morning, are they going to be happy to hear from me, or are they going to freak out and think that Western’s some kind of telemarketing church?
I wish college students would RSVP (I know, I know, I don’t even try…but I’m dreaming here…). We’re always falling off the edge on this one–two could show up to an event or fifty. It’s just hard to plan the food.
I wish that I could communicate, “We’re there for you,” without communicating, “feel free to call me anytime–on my day off, on my vacation, or in the middle of the night–for any reason.”
I wish that we could be wise with our money, but also have the freedom to invest some cold, hard budget numbers into possibilities–and even failures.
I wish there was some way to make sure that the rich diversity of our congregation is reflected in our committees and sessions, without a person feeling like they’re the token young person, or male, or Korean, or Black, or (fill in the blank).
On the same note, I wish there was some way to talk about diversity, cross-generationally and with various ethnicities, without feeling incredibly uncomfortable. And while I’m at it, I wish I could pinpoint what’s making us feel so awkward.
I wish there was some way that we could be responsive to new ideas, but not get caught up in each whim. Also, I wish that the member who had the new idea actually showed up for the event when we held it.
I wish there was some way we could raise our expectations high, and not get too disappointed when things don’t work out as planned. Or, I wish there was a way to keep expectations low, without expecting failure.
I wish that we could be excited about church growth without tying that desire to a need. In other words, I hate sending out the message, “We need to grow the church because we don’t have enough volunteers.” Or, “This church has got to grow because we need more money.”
And, I wish that we could be passionate about issues, without being known as a church “with issues.” I hope that our continued quest for justice and peace is an outgrowth of our spiritual lives and our deep abiding connection with God.
the photo’s by tusconpics