Thursday, December 08, 2005

Are you in an orange barrel church?

Navigating the programs offered by our church reminds me of a construction zone with orange barrels. Just when I get comfortable with a program or a direction, someone puts up a detour sign and puts those orange barrels in the road. I was reading a document yesterday--4 pages that could have been written in one--that mentioned we are replacing "Network" with something else--what I don't know.

Network was supposed to direct all our current and new members to the right area of service for Jesus to match their passion, gifts and personal style. I was (am) a member of the Visual Arts Ministry, and because the Bible says almost nothing about the arts, and because our congregation seems to be artistically impaired, we got no referrals from all their efforts of screening probably a thousand people.

I resisted even participating for a long time, because I don't like being put in little boxes. But once I was a "table facilitator" for a new members class and everyone, including the leaders (old term), had to jump in and complete it. Here's how it played out: My passion was "purposeful, intellectual activity; my spiritual gifts were wisdom, administration and prophecy; my personal style was unstructured task. (I'd never heard of blogging at that time, but I think this describes a Christian blogger.)

If you've been active in a church, no matter the size or denomination, you'll know that no pastor or lay leader wants a member who tests high on "wisdom and prophecy." Especially not a woman! Administration is OK because then you can be put in charge of the book sale, or the collation of the annual report.

Prophecy is described in Network as "challenging listeners simply and practically with the truths of scripture, giving attention to detail and accuracy." Wisdom is "proclaiming truth in a timely and relevant manner for understanding, correction, repentance or edification." These are not spiritual gifts to be envied or coveted.

Maybe it's being dropped because members started taking it seriously?


HereISit said...

Are you sure you don't want to join a smaller church.

Regarding arts in church, please see my friend's website.

Norma said...

To HereISit: I have no idea what causes this. It's the first I've heard of it.