Imagine waking up one morning and something is wrong. Your nervous system is malfunctioning like a virus ridden computer. Only a few parts of your body are in sync and communicating with each other. Your left pinkie finger, neck, mouth, right knee, and two big toes are all responding as normal. Yet, everything else is ignoring your conscious attempts at movement. If this were the case, one thing would be certain: not much would get done that day.
It’s well known that Paul enjoys using the body as an image of the church. Part of the power of the metaphor is that, besides expressing the ideal form of congregational life, it also stirs thought regarding how a church can be dysfunctional. If congregations are indeed like a body, this means that, to function well, they need to be coordinated in thought and motion. If members are out of communication with each other, or unaware of the central vision meant to prompt joint action, the church can quickly land in the awkward position of being effectively paralysed. Without a working wrist, a pinkie finger is of little use; without a responsive foot, big toes will not accomplish much.
Now, at this point, most members of Holyrood are aware that a “Community Week” is being planned in January. The next step for our congregation is to make sure that each member understands the purpose, strategy, and plan for what will happen. Only with such shared understanding will we be able to function as a coordinated body.
Below are some simple next steps to assure that each one of us is up-to-speed and ready for action as we enter into to a new phase of the missional life of Holyrood Evangelical Church.
Step 1: Watch the Equip Session from Last Sunday Night
At the most recent Equip, we walked through the vision and strategy for Community Week in depth. There is no need to repeat this information here. If you haven’t watched the session already, make time this week to do so. You can find the link here:
Step 2: Be Strategic about Invites
Before and during Community Week we will be distributing lots of flyers – hopefully hundreds and hundreds of them. Yet, as important as flyers can be for raising awareness of an event, in terms of attracting people to an event (especially at a church), flyers are of minimal use. If we want people to attend events, there is nothing comparable to the power of a personal invitation.
Recognising this, we all need to be thoughtful about inviting friends to events leading up to Community Week and during the week itself. (The carol services, for example, could be a first step toward inviting a friend to one of the events during Community Week.) Now, to help us to be both thoughtful and prayerful regarding invites, I want each us of us to draft a version of the form below. There are three steps for doing this: (1) write down a list of 10 names; (2) write down the most suitable event for each person next to their name; and (3) start praying now that God himself would crack the door open to invite a specific friend to a specific event.
If all the regular members and adherents of Holyrood did this simple assignment, this would mean over 1,000 personal invites going out during Community Week. That in itself would, no doubt, result in a lot of new faces being seen among us.
Example of Invite Prayer List
|Colin||International Food Night|
|Aunt Margaret||Cream Tea|
Step 3: Volunteer to Help with Something – Or Lots of Things!
One of the “wins” from Community Week will be an opportunity to be on mission together. The more members of Holyrood who get involved, the more united we will feel as a fellowship throughout the week.
There are countless ways to get involved in the week. Needs include prayer teams, leafletting, being present at Warm Space, volunteering for specific events, set up and clean up, and so on and so forth. No one is too young or too old to take part. If you would like to find out more regarding how to get involved in the week, speak to one of the members of the Mission Team. Members include Gillian Pickering, Joe Barnard, Bill Wright, Shona MacDonald, Susan Holloway, and Hayley Macaskill.
Step 4: Talk about the Community Week at Home Groups and over Coffee with Friends
One Equip session and a reflection in the newsletter will not suffice to disseminate information about Community Week throughout the congregation. The truth is, a lot of people neither watch the evening services nor read the newsletter. This means that, in order to become a fully coordinated body, with each member doing their part, we need some “godly” gossip in the congregation regarding this event. The more we chit chat to one another about the exciting plans in January, the more buy-in we will get from the congregation. And this, in and of itself, is one of the great objectives of Community Week: for us to draw together as a single entity so that with one heart and one mind we can serve the Lord as a missional body on Montgomery Street, Easter Road, and wherever else He chooses to send us.
By Joe Barnard