This past week we did something a bit unusual at Park Street. After several weeks of considering, Church Why Bother, and in preparation for this week’s “Invite a Friend” Sunday – we sat in small groups vs. rows and talked about what brought us to Park Street as we considered Yancey’s topic: Looking Outside (as it pertains to outreach).
I have to admit as the pastor I was really nervous about the lay out and plan of not only worship but the worship space. I KNEW that folks walking into church would feel immediately uncomfortable. For some it affected their mood and comfort level as the worship space looked nothing like it did the week before, no rows, altar off center. For others it caused a nervous chatter and still others a sense of excitement of “what’s she up to this week?” which got us off to a late start in spite of all of my attempts of coordination. I have to also admit when I saw that some of our regulars brought guests – my knees nearly buckled…. I had to keep reminding myself of my motivation and preparation: If these folks who worship together each week aren’t comfortable talking to ONE another about church – how will they ever have the nerve to talk to folks “outside” of the church about church? In reflection: if the regular attenders of PSCC felt uncomfortable walking into the Sanctuary because it seemed unfamiliar – imagine how a visitor might feel?! Reflection #2: if folks who call Park Street their home don’t make it it a priority in their lives to regularly commune/community together – why do we expect folks outSIDE of our fellowship to gather? Again, Church, why bother?
So – well – um….. this week we are preparing to have a lot of guests. First, for the Indoor Yard Sale held on October 1, a place and time to exchange, welcome and invite. Then, we have the Big Invite Sunday planned. I am hoping folks from this fellowship will work to enlarge it..open it up to others. I also hope that those who consider PSCC their home church decide to walk through the doors on Sunday. My current mode – motivation and preparation: the sanctuary is currently a filled with for sale items, we have to have it ready for folks to come here to buy our “stuff!” The sanctuary is filled with sales stuff, and we’ve got to have it shiny and ready for guests to come in and buy “our” stuff! Realization: we are a stretched and tired community and one more thing on our to-do-list just about does us in. Anticipated reflection: I am a Pastor in post-Christendom days – I try not to put my eggs all in the attendance basket for if I did, I’d feel a bit defeated. Ongoing Reflection # 2: Remember, Pastor in Post-Christendom, it has never really been about the numbers…it is about One number – the Audience of One and the heart of those who stroll in the doors to honor the One.
So – well – um…. I still am hoping to see a lot of faces in this space on Sunday….but what I am really hoping for is that all that do choose to show are stirred to see, sense, and celebrate the power of One…together.