I’ve never been a huge fan of graphic t-shirts, promotional mugs, or bumper stickers. I don’t disdain these items; I’ve just never been a huge fan of them. I do, however, enjoy some of the quips and quotes these marketing palettes carry. During a recent stroll through our downtown’s Saturday Farmers’ Market, I read the following on a t-shirt, “Maybe the hokey-pokey is what it’s all about.” I smiled.
Times of transition often cause us to shift our posture. When new servant-leaders arrive, we tend to step closer to the life of the church. The face is new, the message is new, the direction is new, and enthusiasm is generally high. When servant-leaders depart, many tend to step back. There is a hesitancy to fully vest oneself in the life of the church until new leadership and direction are identified. Pondering this dynamic, I’ve decided the hokey-pokey truly is what it’s all about. The final verse of this childhood dance-tune encourages the listener to “Put your whole self in.” This is the posture and position I hope every church member embraces.
Rather than hesitate and withhold, I want to encourage you to put your whole self into the church in the coming months. Allow me to be direct… practical… straightforward. Make plans to attend every worship service. Of course, there will be vacations, sickness and other interruptions, but don’t just sleep in. Be here. Find a job in the church. Give of your time as a teacher, choir member, greeter, committee member, pastoral care visitor, or chaperone. Talk to a minister about where your gifts and your time might fit the work of the church best. Finally, whatever you currently give to the church financially, increase it. If you make regular gifts online, go online and increase your regular donation amount. If you write a check or give cash each week, increase the amount even if only by a dollar. Don’t let the interim be a time of simply waiting and wondering and wandering and hoping. Put your whole self in. Make this a vibrant chapter of abundance, progress and growth. Nothing will energize the staff, committees, or even yourself more than over-giving a budget, filling the sanctuary, and fulfilling the ongoing mission of the church. God is pouring God’s Spirit into this place. Be like God… put your whole self in. That’s what it’s all about.