Listening for Ideas
It’s Hard for Lay People to Be Heard!
I’ve been writing for 2×2 for five years now. I always write from the lay point of view. After all, I’ve been a lay person for 62 years.
Last year I was ordained. Maybe my work will carry more weight now. I still tend to see things from the lay point of view. Old habits die hard!
This morning I read an interview with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Texas, C. Andrew Doyle. He’s hyping a book, Church, A Generous Community Amplified for the Future.
The title isn’t exactly an attention getter, but its obscurity may appeal to his readership.
Nevertheless, his ideas are refreshing and different from most online church leadership banter. He is saying things I’ve been writing about for five years, usually attracting criticism from church leaders. It is validating to see some of the ideas we had then getting some traction in leadership circles.
Here are a few of excerpts that could easily be taken from posts on this blog. The titles are links to 2×2 articles along the same vein. In most cases, 2×2 addressed the issues multiple times.
We need vision people; we need people who can communicate well; we need people who are using social media and are digital immigrants at the very least, and are digital natives at the very best.
The work really is coaching and sharing and connecting people. It’s making myself available so that I can create some safe space for people, and say as a bishop of the church, “I’m interested in this.” And that has power to shape conversation — to value things that maybe haven’t been valued.
What does it say that Apple actually has an evangelist and understands that it has a mission, and yet we [the church] don’t want to talk about it? That’s a weird world. That is a strange situation, when the church abandons the language of mission and evangelists but Apple doesn’t.
Imagine a CEO or a chief financial officer that is no longer only going to participate in your congregation by serving on the vestry or at the altar in some way but that actually is unleashed to use these gifts and talents that they bring to their corporate life, and to use those out in the world on behalf of the church. So we have huge assets. The reality is we haven’t been courageous or visionary enough to see how the assets that we have can be used.
For example, I can tell you that average Sunday attendance and budget are huge predictors of what your congregation’s probably like. But that may not be helpful in actually unlocking the needed energy for a mission that you have.
So maybe we should measure some different things. How are you in contact with your community over the week? How many telephone calls with members of your community?