What’s the story behind…?

3

28/08/2013 by Chris Green

church changeAt the back of our church was a small, rather drab, bookcase.  It was used to store songbooks, and Bibles.  But we had bought a larger new one, and we were going to redecorate, so we wondered about chucking it out.

The brakes went on.

Because fixed to the top of the bookcase was a small plaque, saying it had been given in memory of one of the founder members of the church, who had died distressingly young, by his widow.  Whose family still came.

And as far as I know, the bookcase is still there.

Lessons?

1.  Don’t just ask about the facts, ask about the story behind.  Not just, ‘Shall we get rid of the bookcase?, but ‘What’s the story of how we got the bookcase?’  ‘What’s the story behind why Fred always does the reading at the Christmas Eve service?’   ‘What’s the story behind  our policy on remarrying divorced people?’  Because there will be one.  Get to know the history.

 2. Give the story behind what you want to move forwards, and that must at root be the gospel story, however much local flavour you give it.  The gospel was the only story powerful enough to help that grieving family let go of the bookcase, and serve the rest of the church in a healthy way.

3. And never, ever, ever accept a gift with a plaque on it. Pulpits, windows, lecterns, pews, clocks – they become impossible to get rid of because of their emotional freight.  I’ve sometimes muttered that if I were ever involved in a major building project, I’d want a big plaque on the wall, saying “This building was opened in 2013, in the confident expectation that it will be demolished in twenty years’ time to be replaced by something better.”

OK, that third point might be a touch overstated.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “What’s the story behind…?

  1. Jonty says:

    Not hoping for the ‘Chris Green Memorial Wing’ at Oakhill then? Or a nice stained glass window of you preaching?

  2. Richard Wood says:

    Chris, I’m finding that discovering stories behind why we do we what we and when we do it are useful opportunities to get the Gospel Story across. It is the same when I get an answer back ‘we’ve always done that way.’
    This is especially so in Rural communities in West Wales. Where communities are changing rapidly. Here there is longing for stability and continuity. Reminding folks of the Gospel Story, helps them see that there is a Greater Story that offers that stability and continuity they are looking for.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Join my email list, and get my free eBook Bible studies on 1 Thessalonians ‘PURITY: Living to please God in an impure world’

God, Suffering and Joy

A conversation between me (with cancer) and Michael (with Multiple Sclerosis)

Preview and buy ‘Finishing the Race’

You can buy the new edition of 'Finishing the Race' from 10ofthose , or see a preview HERE .

Terms and conditions

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyse and optimise your content and reading experience. I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice.

I welcome your participation on the Ministrynutsandbolts site, and invite you to share ideas elsewhere on what you learn and read here. At the same time, I ask that you respect my intellectual property rights in the process.

You are welcome to link to my site or any specific post on my site, extract and re-post less than 200 words on any other site, provided you link back to my original post, or print my posts in any non-commercial publication (e.g., company newsletter, class syllabus, church newsletter, etc.), provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2016 Chris Green. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.ministrynutsandbolts.com.”

Please do not do the following without written consent: Re-post one of my posts in its entirety anywhere else on the Internet, use this content in for commercial purposes, including selling or licensing printed or digital versions of my content, or alter, transform, or build upon this work.

If you have some use for my content that is not covered here, please contact me. If you would like me to do a guest post on your blog, email me at ministrynutsandbolts@gmail.com

Copyright does not apply to the titles of books, but transparency means I should own that the title of the blog is taken from the excellent 'Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don't Teach Pastors in Seminary ' by Aubrey Malphurs (Kregel: 2nd edn. 2009)

© 2016 Chris Green