stressful questions vs. life-giving ones

This morning our staff had a conversation about the challenges of communicating our events, mission, and news in today’s world. The conversation was inherently stressful because everyone who “consumes” info has different needs and different preferences for how they receive content: website, facebook, bulletin, newsletter, email, word of mouth, phone call, etc. What’s the right way to get the word out?

Which led me to this thought: there are many questions like this that are inherently stressful, and these are the ones we (and many churches) focus on:  What’s the best way to communicate with people?  Will our church grow? Do we have enough money? Are our service times right? Will doing something (or not doing something) cause people to leave? Do we have enough volunteers? The list can go on…

It seems that these questions – which are somewhat unanswerable in a given moment – make us anxious and lead us to try everything in order to please everyone.

The one question that we should perhaps be asking, however, doesn’t cause me stress or anxiety. It actually stokes my curiosity and makes new things possible. As survey questions go, maybe we should start and end with this one:

What do you want from your church?


About bernardowens

I'm an Episcopal priest in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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One Response to stressful questions vs. life-giving ones

  1. Anonymous says:

    there is such a thing as trying too hard.
    i am one of those lucky people who receives pretty much what i want from my church. good sermons, beautiful Sunday service, some thought provoking classes, a group of welcoming, appreciative people who like to try on different ideas about things, intellectual & spiritual stimulation, emotional support, and trust from others that i might be a source of the same kind of support. i am sure there is more to say, but i think this is enough at the moment.

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