By Terry Shue
Denominational Ministry would like to hear from you! Actually we would like to see and hear from you! But for not more than 59 seconds!! We invite you to find someone or a group from your church to make a YouTube video to show at convention Phoenix 2013! Organizers of the Call Wall would like to show short YouTube videos from youth or small groups and congregations answering these two questions:
- What qualities do you believe are important for a pastor to have?
- What are the essential elements of a “calling congregation?”
And make sure we see or hear the name of your congregation! We will also have the Call Wall where individuals can place a card on a wall with the name of someone they believe has the budding gifts to become a pastor.
Have fun with the video project, and you might get on the big screen! All the others will be looped on the screen at the Call Wall which will be running while the exhibit hall is open. And we’re serious—the time limit for these videos is 59 seconds. We won’t edit them. We will use them all if they are not too long or inappropriate.
The task of cultivating anything implies effort and time. Cultivating the culture of a congregation is a slow and arduous task but with intentional effort, a leader can make a difference. Some congregations do it as naturally as singing a well-loved worship song that runs deep in the collective conscience. Other congregations find it a foreign concept comparable to running out of food at a carry-in dinner. (Just doesn’t happen!) But as a leader you can make a difference in cultivating the culture of your congregation with expectancy of God’s calling.
Cultivating a culture of call is more than just shoulder tapping, though that is an important part. Cultivating such a culture in a congregation is a long range vision which requires all ages to be engaged in a similar way of thinking. This requires a shared understanding that God gives gifts to the church which need to be recognized, nurtured, called out and used for the church to get on with our missional vocation. Keeping this in front of all ages of the congregation is an important task of congregational leaders.
Living with the expectation that God does provide spiritual gifts for the life of the church creates an opportunity that each congregation look first from within for budding leadership. Whether this is for leadership needs of their own congregation or beyond, a congregation with such a culture recognizes, calls out and validates gifts in men and women at a variety of ages for the mission of God to go forward.
How might you cultivate your congregation to think about calling new pastors for the church of today and tomorrow? From leader to leader, I encourage you to connect with the youth of your church, talking about the two questions above and then make a simple short video where you answer these questions as creatively as you want.
You might even help the youth team up with an older Sunday School class and let them work on it together. You can capture the video in the church or anywhere that adds to your creative process. If you have questions, email me at TerryS@MennoniteUSA.org. Finished videos can be sent to Chris Rahe at ChrisR@MennoniteUSA.org. The deadline is May 31. Please note, we will not edit any of these videos, we will either use them as they come to us or they will be discarded and not used in any format at Phoenix. What can you say in 59 seconds? My guess is … plenty!
Be sure to stop by the Call Wall when you are at Phoenix to see the good work which you and others have initiated.
See you in Phoenix!