Blog Post by the Rev. Dr. Craig Howard
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy Transitional Leader
On Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at our church in Steelville, Missouri. The city is known as the floating capital of Missouri. Considering the number of boats being pulled by trailers, and canoes on roof racks I saw while driving down I-44, I can see why! The worship service went well and included communion. The parishioners were kind and treated me well as their visiting preacher.
What got my attention is what I observed happening along the edges of the sanctuary. For example, when I arrived, the person preparing the candles in the basement didn’t just tell me how to get to the pastor’s office, she stopped what she was doing to show me the way (we often don’t realize how confusing our church buildings are to visitors). Before worship, I saw members helping older members who were coming off the lift to their seats. I don’t believe there were ushers either. Another person made sure bulletins were in place, while others took care of the communion elements. After worship, another group cleared the communion table, while others changed the paraments from red to green, as next week we move to ordinary time.
In Steelville there is a spirit of doing what is necessary, and not caring who gets the credit.
Perhaps Rev. Wendy Downing, the pastor of Steelville, is super organized and has the church running like a top. I’m all for people having titles and job descriptions, and being efficient. But what I experienced in Steelville was not the usual 80/20 Pareto Principal- 80 percent of the work being done by 20 percent of the people. There were many more hands making light work.
My hope is that people will step up and volunteer in the presbytery like the members of Steelville. Nominating has several openings. Big Tent is still looking for volunteers as well. Prayerfully consider if this is a time for you to do a little more in your church, and in your presbytery as well.
Rev. Craig M. Howard