Monday, November 17, 2014

Bring It On

Last week I was invited to a meeting at the Senior Center in the town where i work, along with other leaders from area churches. The director gave us an overview of the services they provide (an amazing amount, really, for cheap or free, for anyone in the city who is disabled or over 60 years old). She showed us the calendar, the list of activities, the services they provide, and explained their hopes for the future. Then, to my astonishment, she said "so the reason I've asked you all here is that I want to know how we can serve you in your churches." 
Shocking, right? I expected her to ask us for help- funding, publicity, connections, space to host programs. But she said that they want to reach every person they can in the city. I raised my hand and said "I know this is ridiculous, but since you asked... it would be wonderful if you could set up a servive that offered rides to Mass on weekends!" I expected her to say "yeah, RIGHT." But she said "okay, good to know! I'm going to see how I can make that happen." 
I've been in social service and ministry work for over 25 years now, and the pervasive attitude of the people I've worked with, including me at times, has been "I am at my limit. Don't ask me to do anything more than I'm struggling to do now." At church, we bluff all the time about how we wish more people would come to our programs, but we don't go out looking for them, we don't do the work to attract them, we don't plan space for more than we usually have. 
And, you know, I get that because I've been there- I am there- maxed out, under-funded, time-challenged, distracted by all kinds of stupid things that pop up here and there. It's enough to make you (me) forget the point- which is, after all, to Go and Make Disciples. This secular servant of people reminded me that I need to re-order my priorities and remember that I am doing God's work, which is hard and overwhelming. And I need to trust that along with the extra people God will send my way if I am open to them, will come their gifts and agency to extend my efforts further than I ever could alone. 

No comments: