A funny thing happened at church yesterday.
My wife has been bringing her friend with her to church for the past couple of weeks. As we launch into the 10×10 vision, we’re committed to doing our part as God directs. Part of the way we’re reaching out is asking an unchurched friend and her son to visit church. And last week, she accepted Christ!
She was so excited to see my wife this week in church they began talking excitedly together. They were buzzing back and forth during the first song and well into the second. There was talk of Jesus love, baptism and even a few tears. It was a powerful moment – I was moved sitting just down from them seeing a life so dramatically and instantly changed.
But I could tell the woman in front of us was going to blow a gasket.
She looked back once or twice with “those eyes.” She looked at her husband a minute later and rolled her eyes. She shrugged to her friends. She even kind of scowled back once, I think trying to use ESP to tell the ‘bubblygirls’ behind her to be quiet. Finally, near the end of the second song, she just had to say something.
“I’m sorry, but can you guys talk to each other later? I’m trying to worship.”
During her “worship” she missed the most beautiful expression of worship ever. Angels were dancing in Heaven and she was ticked on earth.
Now, in her defense, my wife’s friend IS loud. She does get a bit excited and I’m sure it was distracting. She doesn’t know the “rules” of church and even stopped the offering plate later in the service for an extra 4 minutes to write her check. But isn’t that all OK?
Sometimes I like Christians more before they know how to act like Christians.
Why am I so worked up about this? Because I’ve done it before. As my wife and I talked about it after our post-baptism-celebration lunch, she admitted to doing it, too. Busting someone without knowing the whole story. Getting frustrated without knowing the other half. In fact, I now realize I’m doing that to this lady in front of us, right? Is it possible that this was her last Sunday to live and she is living knowing she’s terminally ill? Is it possible she brought her jaded son and daughter-in-law to church for the first time after years of trying – and some jerk behind them is being loud and distracting?
Hmm … not sure where I’m going with this, other than to say maybe we should loosen up a bit in church. Maybe we should empathize with each other a bit more. And maybe our first reaction to a disruption in the service is that God is up to something, instead of someone being distracting.
Here’s a fun old school student ministry video from 2001 … this intro’d the 30 Days of Love series on purity we were doing at the time.
Just saw this on Wired on how to write the perfect email. Here’s an excerpt, should be required reading if you’re dealing with a big team.
Email, not the web, is the most-used Internet application by transaction volume. It’s also the most misused. Since it’s such an important and often overlooked component of our online lives, I’m going to step away from preaching about the web for a moment and focus on simple steps to make your email discussions more effective.
If you grew up like I did, you were taught how to write a letter. You learned how to write business and casual headings and salutations, state your purpose, make a request, set expectations for a response, and wrap it up with a Very Truly Yours.
But an email is not a letter, and you’re not typing at a Selectric II typewriter. You may look at the days of formal graces in written communication with some sadness, but rest assured that they are as dead as Dillinger. If your purpose is to solicit information or action from another person via email, you must make that clear to them at the earliest possible point in the message.
I get hundreds of emails a day, not counting spam. I know I’m not alone. Email overload is a problem, and it will probably only get worse.
It’s tempting for geeks like me to propose some kind of microformat as a solution: begin subjects with these words, format the first line like that. But email is too widely distributed to corral into a any kind of structure now. All we can do is focus on quick, concise, effective communication.
People differ in how they manage their inboxes, but attention to a few details can help make your messages more usable for everyone.
Just read that Tobey Maguire signed on to play a part in a now-in-development live-action Robotech movie! Yeah, loved that anime series when I was a kid.
There’s 6 new videos for sale up on Simply Youth Ministry – all from Student Life. Some are great, you should check them out if you’re looking for solid multimedia content in your student ministry.