That is a lot of fruits and veggies, milk and eggs, shavers and shampoo. That many items means many options to choose from, many decisions to make on each aisle.
There are many, many choices to make everywhere we turn, including church. That is why our Leadership Team identifies a few important priorities for our Celebration family every year.
In November, when I shared our 2012 Ministry Plan with you, I used bags of groceries as object lessons to illustrate our priorities for the upcoming year. Since we all need reminders, here is a recap of our priorities for the new year. They are each represented by a different grocery item.
Bread – Get Into God’s Word
Of the 38,718 items stocked in a supermarket, the top seller is soda pop.
Americans love junk food of every kind, including TV shows, video games, and web sites. Diversion is good, but devotion is better.
Stephen Covey says, “The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” This year, we are calling one another to put first things first. Get into the Word and get the Word into you. Read it. Study it. Memorize it. Meditate on it. Do so privately and with your church community.
Small groups, Sunday sermons, Sunday school, and youth group meetings are designed to teach folks the Bible and apply it to life. So are our mid-week “Thinking Biblically Forums”. Join us this month as we think biblically about sexual issues.
Party Favors – Invite & Include People
Hospitality is an important habit at Celebration. We go out of our way to make folks feel at home. We want our guests to feel the love and warmth of God’s family opening its arms to friends, family, and funky people.
Scripture says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2). Let’s create a culture of inviters and includers. Open arms are a powerful witness.
Coffee – Create a Mentoring Community
One of our great strengths is that we are an intergenerational church. Retirees, teenagers, graduate students, moms, dads, and college students all call Celebration home. When people of diverse ages and stages play Catan or enjoy a cup of coffee together, mentoring just happens.
In January, we will launch two ministries with mentoring components. MOPS (“Mothers of Pre-Schoolers”) fosters friendship among moms AND utilizes “mentoring moms” as well. Whiz Kids creates a mentoring community through an after school tutoring program for neighborhood kids.
You don’t have to be all-knowing, just wise, loving, and available. Mentoring can be organic or organized, formal or informal, but it need not be intimidating. It can be as simple as coffee and convo.
Diapers - Sign-up & Show-up
If you want to feel connected, act committed. Engage. Jump in. Help out.
Aren’t you sick of spectator church? Don’t you want to be more than a consumer with a spirit of entitlement? Service is the new spirituality and Celebration is a place to roll-up your sleeves and serve. You can literally change diapers in our nursery ministry or as a MOPS nursery volunteer. Or you can do so metaphorically by doing what needs to be done whether you feel like it or not.
Jesus said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).
When the clip board comes by, will you sign-up and show-up?
So those are our ministry priorities for 2012. A balanced diet of God’s Word, inviting and including, mentoring, and service will make Celebration healthy and fruitful for God.
“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”