Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Like-minded people"

I have this friend who makes these really killer blueberry muffins. And if you show up to our church, there’s a good chance that you’ll get one. These muffins are delicious, and you could be forgiven for admitting that the reason why you joined the church was the blueberry muffins.

But here’s the deal. The muffins are just a “perk” of membership. They shouldn’t be why you join the church, they shouldn’t be why you stay. There’s work to be done, Friend, and while you can continue to enjoy the blueberry muffins, you need to pick up a hammer and start swinging.

(Go here to understand my tangent. It’s not really about muffins.)

5 comments:

Ms. Theologian said...

There's a lot I would do for a good blueberry muffin. :)

The like-minded discussion interests me because it's often the reason lots of people give for going to church, not just UUs. But much like other liberal institutions, I'm not sure we know what to do when people aren't "like us" (whatever this means, really).

I'm reminded of attending a friend's ordination about a decade ago. Jim and I arrived late, and sat in the back, along with this other guy. He told us he wasn't a member of the church, just wanted to check it out, but people hadn't been friendly to him. He was a fisherman. Anyway, Jim talked to him for a long time after the ordination, and a few hours later my friend called to apologize that we'd been accosted by "some homeless guy." It was clear the fisherman wasn't a "like-minded person".

Sigh.

In any case, that was just about the last time I was able to convince Jim to go to church with me. His family is blue-collar and all the like-mindedness is a big turnoff to him, because it seems like an excuse to exclude.

jbgrinch said...

Im jewish, not like minded but I will keep on reading and Ill keep LW in my thoughts and prayers.

Lizard Eater said...

jbgrinch ... we're like-minded -- both of us are "folkies."

I think most of us are "like-minded people," it's just about finding the right topic ...

ogre said...

Oy.

Ok, I said my $20 worth over with PB (yes, the dollar's been seriously devalued, but still...). As for the muffins... yum. My wife bakes cookies to the same end(s). I'm not sure that the same "just a perk" applies to chocolate chip cookies, but I see the point. Sorta.

Truth is, I don't care why people came, or even joined--I care why they stay (or don't). We've one long-time member who's been on the board, is utterly devoted... and will tell you she's there for the potlucks. That, despite the fact that the potlucks really were (even formally) put to rest a couple years ago. Other things are happening that fill the space they filled, though.

An extremely active lay leader, former president (and future president, too... heh) is there because we had a service late enough for her to get to with kids--and which had child care, so that she could get a break for an hour-plus and think on adult things. There's more, yes. But that's all that mattered, initially, and for a long time.

And the chocolate chip cookies (and others...) are bait, and rewards, and excuses for why we're here.

I'm more about the light-hearted, along with the serious and sober. One can find far too much can't laugh, must be serious, in church(es). I'll be cracking wise from the pulpit until they compost me.

Without like-minded folk... we'll be doing little, and we'll be doing it slowly. Very slowly.

(Except two be agreed, eh?)

Anonymous said...

for me it was the Halloween party. I liked the minister, the congregation, and the RE program was "ok" at the time (I got involved and it got a lot better). But the Halloween party where all kids got creative awards for their creative costumes, the minister got wrapped up in TP like a mummy and the jr high class put on a homemade scary enough haunted house, with all generations, decorations, pot luck, celebration, story tellers, age appropriate activities- that's when it really felt like a community we wanted to belong to. So much so that I took over doing the Halloween party after the previous organizers wore out- including the Haunted House. Finally after many years wore out but... the Haunted House continues, each Jr Hi/hi school class doing their thing and raising money for Unicef or some other good cause. A highlight of the church year. Thanks for triggering a great memory. I've had other new members tell me it was the "halloween party" that did it for them too.

Cinci mom