Monday, July 19

Taking notes, paying attention, taking action

I was sitting in church this week and the pastor took some time at the beginning to ask each of us to pray for some items. So I pulled out my pen and paper and got ready to write them down. My wife pointed out that the list was already in the bulletin, but I wrote them down myself anyways for a couple of reasons.
  • When I write something down, I remember it better
  • I can capture the idea in my own words and not miss anything
  • I'm more likely to keep a list that I've made than a handout
  • I have to pay more attention if I'm actively trying to capture what's being said
So I made the list and brought it home, and it ended up on my desk where I've looked at it every day since. I've even prayed about the items on the list. They are:
  • Pray for growth Summer is typically when people move to Flagstaff, and we get a lot of visitors and new members during this time. I am also praying for more people to join our home group.
  • Financial Faithfulness The church has taken on a number of commitments that has stretched our resources pretty tight. The congregation has been faithful so far this year, but there's not much room for error, and our church is big enough that we're talking some serious numbers.
  • New Times They're going to change the times for Saturday services, and that always causes some ripples in operations. Jim asked the congregation, "raise your hand if you like change," and about seven of us raised our hands (yes I'm one of the nuts). The rest have an uncomfortable period of adjustment to go through.

    I have to be careful about how I answer these questions though. The last time Jim asked a question like that, it was, "How many people could live on 1/4 of your current salary?" I answered yes, and God decided to test me on it. It hasn't been pleasant. Course now I'll probably get my salary back and he'll move on to testing me on change. May you live in interesting times.

  • Getting people to go on Saturday Along with the new times, the staff is trying to get more people to come to the Saturday services which have a little less than half of the people that go to each service on Sunday. See the point on change above for the challenge.
  • Rain Flagstaff needs the water and the forest is currently at very high fire danger. Rains would be good.
  • How am I to accomplish the extraordinary purpose God has for my life
This last one is actually a multi-parter since most of us in the audience are still trying to figure out our special purpose. (And no, I'm not talking about the one Steve Martin discovers in the Jerk.) Jim is pretty determined that each of us determine what we are supposed to be doing, and get moving on doing it. I don't have a real sense on how others are progressing on this task though. I have a few ideas, but I definitely need to nail more of it down.


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