Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

10/01/2006

80% Unemployment

It's widely none that in churches, as with other volunteer organizations, most of the work is done by a small percentage of people. In by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson's book Externally Focused Church the author wonders about this aloud writing,
When the U.S. Labor department releases the unemployment figures for the quarter, and that number is above 7 percent, it is viewed as a crisis. When a church releases its 80 percent unemployment figures (reflecting the 20 percent of “active” member), it is seen as normal. What if we were only satisfied if 100 percent of our people were engaged in some type of ministry?
I think it is naïve to suggest every single person in church is in a place in their faith journey and in their lives where he or she can be actively engaged in ministry. I also suspect the percentage could be higher in every church, but how do we get more people not just busy but doing the things God has for them?

In the archives is the sermon Unwrap Your Gift.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

2 Comments:

  • At 10/01/2006 10:15 PM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    I never thought about it quite that way. For many years, the church had no place for those with no musical talent or those not gifted to teach. My job schedule makes it difficult for me to be a church musician, and as I told a previous pastor, "I'd rather be shot in the head than teach 1st grade Sunday School." I think King of Peace does a good job encouraging people to go outside of traditional "church jobs" to share God's love with others. But I believe that talking with my friends and aquaintances about my faith and being available to answer questions about Christianity is a valid ministry even though I don't have a job title. Does not having an official job at the church make me one of the 80%? I wouldn't think so.

     
  • At 10/02/2006 6:26 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Debbie,

    King of Peace has three expectations of baptized Christian who wish to join the church:

    1) If you are well and in town, you will attend Sunday worhsip.

    2) You will give of our time, energy and money to support the church. The biblical standard for a monetary tihe is 10 percent. WE do not expect all to be there, but to be giving toward the church and working over time toward that goal.

    3) You should have a ministry in the church or community (or both). On this last one we note that there are seasons in anyone's life where this is not possible (recovery from illness is one example) and that in those cases, membership is still available.

    All of the above is put forward with grace. In part because we don't 1) keep attendance, 2) keep a log of pledges and how people have followed though on giving, 3) keep track of ministries other than the ones offered through the church.

    Yet in many conversations with the folks joining the church, I have found it a helpful time in which someone can identify there gifts and find a suitable ministry or many more times I find that someone already has a ministry, but doesn't yet think of it in those terms.

    Examples of this include those working with scouting. Our scout troops are important ministries and those working for them are ministers no matter what work they are doing to keep that ministry going (just like the person in the sound booth ins a minister, just like the people wearing microphones). I've spoken with people who were volunteering to sort clothes and other donations for the Salvation Army and build houses for Habitat for Humanity, but wondered about ministry. Then I let them know they had one.

    I think those outside of church, sharing God's love jobs are vitally important to the Body of Christ as they are to a community and I know no reason not to consider them ministry.

    So perhaps we should revise unemployment figures. Or more likely, help people realize the vast number of job opportunities out there and assist them in finding the right fit.

    peace,
    Frank+

     

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