I never understood the point of Connect the Dots puzzles as a child. They seemed obvious and pointless, and yet . . .
it occurs to me now that professional ministry is all about Connecting the Dots with people. It prevents us from silo-ing our particular ministries. It connects individual service to the big picture. The dots that need to be connected in your church might be:
- A computer training ministry for new immigrants
- English as a Second Language classes
- Vacation Bible School
- An annual fish fry
- Wednesday morning Bible study
- Bag lunches for homeless shelter
- Cancer survivors group
We all tend to have our pet projects and interests. But all of the dots are connected when a leader can point out how the dots connect to create the whole picture/the vision:
- Becoming a safe place in the neighborhood where God’s love is shared.
- Transforming the world for good in Jesus’ name.
- Serving our neighbors in the image of Christ.
- [Your congregation’s stated mission here.]
Some of our congregations busily fill our calendars with activities that have nothing to do with the core mission of our church but we’ve been doing those programs for so long that we can’t let them go. It’s the pastors’ job to continue to help people connect the dots. And if the dots cannot possibly connect maybe it’s time to stop. I’m talking to you, Strawberry Festival (that everybody dreads except the three ladies who run it.)
How do the assorted “dots” of our efforts connect with the bigger picture? It’s a question we need to ask and ask again.