This month I’d like to let you know about something we have been focusing on. Last month we looked at change. Change is not always easy, but sometimes it is necessary. Something we need to have in order to implement change is a plan. Change doesn’t happen; we need to have a goal. You can’t hit a target that isn’t there. What do we want to accomplish? Where do we want to go? When we go on vacation we don’t just wake up one morning and say “let’s go on vacation.” We have to think about where we want to go, what we want to do and how are we’re going to get there.
I’ve always been a “planner”. My family and especially my kids shake their heads and raise their eyebrows whenever we go on vacation. Months in advance I start planning. I make reservations, I make sure transportation is set, I plan when we will leave and when we arrive, I have folders for every aspect of the trip, from the time we leave the house till the time we get back home and everything in between. A few years ago we took our youth to the Youth gathering.
The girls laughed all the way through planning, and going on our trip. We did fund raisers and every time we had a fund raiser, they laughed at how I planned for that and how I made them write down what was needed. They laughed at my lists, they laughed at making sure they had all their forms filled out and the hotel set up and making sure we had transportation from the airport to our hotel, and then making sure we would have the itinerary for the gathering, and the small group sessions they wanted to attend chosen ahead of time.
I know I frustrated them, however when we arrived at the Gathering, I had my folders ready and we registered without a hitch, as a matter of fact we bypassed a line that would have taken an hour and a half. Then when we got to the Convention Center we sailed through those lines, we had pre-registered for all the breakout sessions and we were able to go through the lines with ease. Others were scrambling and unable to go to sessions they wanted because they were already full. The girls had to admit it made life so much easier.
As a congregation we need to have goals, and plans for success. So what are our goals and how can we accomplish them? This is a question we need to be asking ourselves. This is a topic Pastor is addressing with the Council.
At our last PLI Community group meeting we did a prayer walk/sit. We spent sometime going in groups and walking the neighborhood, observing our neighbors and praying for them and our neighborhood. Those who were unable to walk, sat on the benches in front of the church and prayed. Is this something we can do? It may seem small, but it is something. I remember Pastor Ostruske at Good Shepherd. He would come once a week and sit in front of the church with a cooler filled with water. He offered water to people walking by, and if they wanted, he would talk with them, listen to what they had to say and pray with them. If they didn’t want to pray, he would simply offer them a bottle of water and when they left he would say a prayer for them anyway. I always admired that about him. He sometimes just listened and prayed later. I thank God for Pastor Ostruske’s example and the prayers he offered.
Please join me in prayerfully considering what our goal should be. And then continue to pray as we strive to achieve that goal, whatever it may be.