During VBS I took my 5th grade class outside to weed the flower beds. It was 10 minutes of servitude to illustrate the Jews in Egypt… and everyone suddenly needed a bathroom break.
Caring for the flower beds is a new routine at Chandler. I brought my family up on Monday to finish the job (my children claim it was more servitude). We not only weeded, but got to plant new plants – like “Saucy Seduction”. We joked it could be a part of Chandler’s outreach strategy. And the end result was beautiful.
Over the course of this year there have been a lot of unexpected changes. Some difficult. But many exciting, like Chandler 101. I just finished our second session this year. In the past there has only been one a year, but with so many visitors we needed a second (and I hope there will be a third in the Fall!).
As we continue to reach out, our focus changes. It becomes less maintaining and more “saucy seduction”. What I mean is when our focus becomes outreach, we let go of our preferences and change to embrace our guests. We won’t change the theology of our worship, but change the style to better communicate the message to this generation.
With visitors in mind we are going to try something new in July. For the month – which is normally our lowest giving month – we will have a giving box instead of an offering during service. It will be a trial period. We hope to make visitors feel comfortable, rather than feel like we are after their money. We also want to put our best foot forward – rather than pass empty plates (because so many now give through auto-debit, plates often arrive at the back empty or nearly).
I challenge your family to not only try this change but consider giving a bit extra. My family, though we give once a month by auto-debit, will make sure to put in extra. By going beyond our normal routine we can transform our weakness and bring Christmas in July!
I hope you will join us and please continue to spread the word: God is at work at Chandler!