If you’ve been on church staff for any length of time, you know what it feels like to prepare, plan, and market a great idea only to have so few come that you wonder, “Why don’t they come?” It happened last night at the Family Drive-In Movie.
We have access to a huge stand up movie screen and a high end LED projector. We have a fantastic back parking lot that could hold 200 lawn chairs with beautiful shade and a fantastic breeze. We had a girl scout troupe with fresh movie popcorn and lemonade to sell at 50 cents each to support a local animal shelter with the theme of lost animals as we showed “Homeward Bound.” We had picnic tables and a sno cone machine. We had indoor bathrooms. We had beautiful weather. It was free.
Who came? I’m glad you asked.
Our pastor and his family came. He is kind enough to set the projector and screen up. The moms of 5 girl scouts came. Our staff parish chairperson and his family came. The lovely champion of Family Movie Night came. Our youth director came.
Yes indeed, it takes only a few to build a faith community. But it happens so much easier and more quickly when the founding community comes out: to visit, to welcome, to greet, to show around, to make connections with new people, to introduce themselves to new faces, to make some new friends-in-the-Lord, to perhaps be the answer to someone’s prayer through the relaxed time of shared fellowship.
It is not my intention to be negative, but it would be dishonest to not express my disappointment. So, even when you do all the preparing, marketing, sharing, and planning well, sometimes they just don’t come.
This Sunday, we have a giant, inflatable, dual water slide inviting everyone in the community to come. It was originally scheduled for 2 weeks ago, but the bad weather caused us to reschedule. Sliding Into Summer may be about running through a water slide for little people, but what will our surrounding community think about us if the founding community of faith doesn’t come out to welcome and greet them?
“I am carrying on a great project and I can not go down.” Nehemiah 6:3