gavoweb posted a photo:
Mitch Joel had some interesting thoughts the other day in regard to our obsessions with attracting the big crowd as a media & market solution. He threw out that Charlie Sheen has garnered over 1 million plus twitter followers within days of creating a profile. He even admitted that he is one of those followers (I’m hoping it was just for case study work). However, he notes, which is what I would feel is the norm, that few of those watching Charlie on tv or on twitter would actually take action based on him. If they did it would probably be more gimmick action (buying some #winning t-shirt). Somewhat like a circulating Justin Bieber t-shirt that goes around my Sunday school class’s ‘dirty santa’ Christmas party. You don’t really want one, but it is funny to force others to have one. Tangenting!
Mitch goes on to lift up Howard Stern. Howard has far fewer twitter followers as a social media platform. But Mitch is sure, and I’d agree, that if Howard asked his people to do something (other than a Retweet) they would move the proverbial market meters. Howard has influence. Heck, I went to watch his movie because he talked it up so much on his show.
This has me wondering about church membership. We often get pre-occupied with the attraction of numbers. “This is the biggest church of ….” “This was our highest attended ….” “How can we get more people to show up for ….” are phrases if you hang around church long enough you will hear quite frequently. Size is a measuring stick.. but is it the right measurement?
All the good church people are out there saying, “Oh no! It’s not about the size.” But if we are honest, we many times will feel inferior because we are not part of the big thing around the corner or the other side of town. I don’t see a problem being honest about that… something we need to work on.
We need to look at the people that we have and ask ourselves, how are we building our influencing with those with us? I am so much more impressed with churches that can inspire/influence their people (and not just the chosen 10% that do everything for the church operations) to get out and do & be church.
Those are places that I’d want to be a part of.
Should we ask ourselves as a marker of ministry, how have we positively influenced our communities? Or should the ‘size matters’ mantra continue to stick?
Now, I am a regular church goer. But this time around I went to my friend Jody’s midday church service at Saint Joseph of Arimathea in Hendersonville. Beyond Jody, I don’t know anyone else that goes to his church (except his wife) and being that Jody is the minister it was a really odd feeling being in a strange church land.
Saint Jo’s is Episcopalian which I generally enjoy, but also frequent infrequently. Just enough to forget some of the rituals that bond that community. I was glad this go round that Jody put scriptures onto the bulletin & that the midday service didn’t have any singing. That meant I only had one book to worry about juggling.
Jody preached the gospel message on Matthew 6, as any good Episcopalian priest would.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
His message circulated on standing out, reflecting God’s glory & not our own ego. I couldn’t help but think that I stood out at the church. It is a smaller church community than what I am used to. I’m sure people wondered..Who was this visitor person. He didn’t quite get right all the ups and downs. Sorta knew the liturgies.
This was my frame of mind going in and out of midday service.
So I came to realize.. I have a lot of myself I need to get over. Shall I give myself up for Lent?