Friday, July 30, 2010

Clearing the table…

As far as victories go, throwing stuff away doesn’t seem major. Unless you’re church feels overcrowded. In which case, victory is ours!

As you might know, last weekend we held a Work Day, and it went great. More than great- Amazing. I’m still excited. Coming into it, I wasn’t sure who’d show up, for how long, etc. So we created a multi-tiered wish list/work plan, with three categories:

1. What needs to get done
2. What I hope gets done
3. What would be really cool if it actually happened, but don’t hold your breath cause you never, ever finish your list, right?

That was the plan, and on Saturday morning, I drove in to church with work shoes on. I was a little late, though, perhaps fifteen minutes, thinking others would be late too, and we wouldn’t get organized and working for awhile anyway. I was wrong. When I arrived, groups were already hard at work on both categories one and two, at 9:45 in the morning. Whoa! And that continued through the afternoon, meaning we finished all three categories.

That’s right, All Three! Or at least we got as far with them as could in one day. Here’s a rundown on what we accomplished with your help last Saturday:

* The Library is no more, and all the books (except Bibles) have either been sold, donated to United Theological Seminary, taken to Church members’ homes, or added to my collection
* The bookshelves, and other unused equipment and furniture, have been sold/given away via craigslist (which, for the non-techno savvy, is like an internet Flea Market mixed with Goodwill)
* That room’s remaining furniture has migrated across the hall, and now stands empty, except…
* The Children’s Sunday School stuff was organized, and moved into the old library
* I.e. Adult and Children’s Sunday School has switched places
* Many old or broken items that have cluttered storage spaces for years have been thrown away- even the sofa in the youth room, which made me weep
* All storage spaces have become organized and uncluttered
* I mean, ALL!
* The women’s bathroom had wallpaper removed, new trim applied, the walls primed and prepared for new paint application
* Much of the building grounds were weeded (i.e. we removed a forest full of organic material)

In case you’re wondering, yes, this has happened before. And let’s be honest, it’ll happen again, but hopefully not for years. So to maintain organizational orderliness, we’ve instituted a new system- The Room Steward Program. We understand that not only is the physical building a gift that requires good Christian Stewardship, but so also is the work people (especially Al Johnson, Chana Weaver and Donna Jarvi!) have put into making those spaces ready for ministry. And we all have a responsibility to practice that stewardship, i.e. no dumping junk into various rooms, thereby undercutting the hard work another PCCCer put into the facility.

So to accomplish that stewardship, we’ve assigned Stewards for every room in the building, and charged them with an important responsibility- maintain order and cleanliness in their assigned space. And to ensure they have tools to do that, we’ve empowered the Stewards to remove any items that appear in those rooms, which they did not explicitly approve. So if you want to give something to the church to further our ministry, by all means, do it! But bring it up first to the Room Steward assigned to the appropriate space. Otherwise, if it’s simply left in the Youth Room or Storage Closet, we’ll put it in the Lost and Found, recycle bin or announce to the church that something needs a new home. Sound good? That list of Stewards will soon be posted in the hallway, as well as on signs outside each room.

In any event, I’m very excited for your hard work this past weekend. And not simply because it looks nice and pretty. But mostly because I believe that an organized building leads to a more effective church. And now that we’re better organized, we can fill that empty space with more and more ministry-in-action, right? Thought so.

Grace and Peace,

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