Skip to main content

sometime you want to go...

where everybody knows your name...

no, the bishop has not appointed us to boston after 7 days in prosper! we're still here, and very happy. the boys returned from their five days in bay city last friday, and are really digging their rooms and the new house. one huge bonus: the church playground, covered, right across the street. it's great to be a kid in prosper!

i just returned from lunch at the place to eat in prosper, the cotton gin. it's a great little place, packed around the clock, in downtown, just a few blocks from the church. in fact, it's run by church members! so far i think we have had five meals there, and yes, we've been in town for a week! they've got everything, from breakfast to burgers to chicken fried steak to salads, if that's your thing. today i had a huge cheeseburger, a final celebration of food before the season of lent begins tomorrow, ash wednesday. for lent i will be fasting on wednesdays, and not eating sweets or fried foods until easter (i will take a lenten break to celebrate miles' birthday on friday-- God will understand). christy loves lent!

the cotton gin is a place much like cheers was-- it has its regulars and newcomers. but in the center of a small town it is hard to not be noticed as the new guy in town, especially in a fairly visible position, as pastor in one of the churches. everytime i go in there now i see people who know me-- sometimes i know them, sometimes i even remember their names! but it's pretty clear who the guests are. hopefully members will be forgiving if i do not recognize them! speaking of standing out, christy and i had breakfast the other day at the c.g. and who sat at the table next to us? deion sanders. no, i did not ask him to autograph my napkin.

when does the church feel like the place where everybody knows your name? and how do folk who attend large churches avoid feeling like a consumer at a business where no one greets them or welcomes them or remembers them? how do churches of any size make their folk feel like they are at home when they come-- whether they're new in town or have been around for generations? i have been in churches where no one seemed to notice or care that i was there, and at other times i've been treated like royalty. i'm not sure it's the number on the membership roles that makes the difference either. it's more of an intentionality of the members to remember the importance of hospitality.

that will be one of the more important and hardest characteristics of prosper umc to hold on to as it grows every year. but we are going to succeed at it. we want to be the place where folk feel most welcome in the town of prosper. and after church they can go to downtown and enjoy the good food at the cotton gin. just make sure you get there in time to beat the baptists!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reflecting Upon Newtown

Note: I offered these words during the prayer section of worship Sunday, December 16.

Last Friday was a day full of surprising ministry. After I wrote my usual Friday email devotion to the church, I received a call from Byron Proutt, our missions coordinator. He and others had recently partnered with Park Cities Presbyterian on a project, and their missions director called Byron to say another ministry was unable to pick up several boxes of food for their pantry—could we use it? Of course we could! So Pastor Gregg, Mr Johnny, and I rolled out to the warehouse and hauled back 80 boxes of food. Praise God! After we unloaded it Gregg and I went to Kroger to give them a letter of appreciation for making our Thanksgiving baskets for hungry families a priority. After I dropped Gregg off at home, I turned on my radio for the first time that day and heard the reports of the shootings in Newtown, Conn. I could not believe what I heard, especially as a father of young children.

I came back to m…

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…