Poison Dart Frogs are some of the tiniest and beautiful creatures on the planet; they are also incrediably deadly. So, why call this blog "Tiny Dart Frog"? It goes back to the old adage - good things come in small packages. We are all created exactly as God has intended - unique, strong, and beautiful.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Why Growing a church is a bit like eharmony (or match.com or any dating website)
When I was in college there was never a lack of boys to date...and not because of how I looked or how smart I was or what parties I attended.
There was never a lack of boys to date because we were all in the same boat.
Single. Relatively free from responsibility.
Every day I could step out of my sorority house and meet someone new, someone interesting, someone intriguing (and possibly cute too).
But, let's face it. As we get older, it's not that way. If you aren't hooked into a relationship by the time you're out of graduate school, then it's much harder (if you're married, just trust me on this). If you want to meet someone new, then you'll have to take some drastic measures.
You may even have to turn to eharmony or match.com. ICK.
To do that then you have to be willing to admit very publicly that you want to be in a relationship with someone. You have to admit that you're looking... that you want to be loved and accepted and known.
It is at this point you realize how much effort it takes to build a relationship. It is also at this point you realize how easy you used to have it (those tears cried over the returned lavaliere hardly seem catastrophic now).
I don't know if it was ever 'easy' to grow a church, but I do know that we seem to think it used to be easier. I do know that how we built relationships in the past are different than how we build them today.
I'm not saying the church needs to set up an eharmony profile and see if anyone wants to date us, but what I am saying is we can't sit around and wait for people to just show up.
They aren't going to just show up. If we're going to find the people who are 'looking' then we're going to have to say we're 'looking' too.
If we want to share the good news to all the world that they are:
utterly known, completely forgiven, entirely freed, and forever loved, then we're going to have to put in the effort.
We're going to have to put ourselves out there first and say, "Hey. So, it's sort-of hard for me to talk about this...I don't have all the answers, but I can share a bit about how God helped me through something similar."
Those might not be the words you would use - you'll have to come up with your own 'profile'.
I guess you don't need to come up with a 'profile'. We can be content to sit inside our church buildings and hope we'll bump into someone to love, someone to share with, someone to serve with.
That probably won't happen though. We're not in college anymore.
The people are out there for you to meet.
Go. Meet them. Share the love of Christ with them.
Don't let your insecurities hinder you.
Because in the end... the Church is the site that's got a handle on love. Not eharmony.
My name is Christine Stephan, although I answer mostly to Mom or Pastor.
I am a Lutheran pastor for an amazing group of Jesus' disciples just outside Washington DC AND a mom to 3 of the best boys in the universe.
I blog here about family and faith and frustrations....That thing we call 'life'.
My boys are passionate about all things legos, anything involving a ball, video games, and chocolate.
I am an avid runner, a lover of interesting books and deep conversation, a very amateur writer, and also a lover of chocolate.
I also love theology (which is weird, I know), but I don't love theology more than Jesus.
This blog is hardly ever profound, but it is real. As a pastor and I mom, I find 'real' to be more helpful in my journey with Jesus than crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's.