Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Not Just Fun

Something my wife said yesterday got me thinking.

She was making an announcement for our new Yada Yada Prayer Group; which is loosely based on the book series of the same name. We are really excited to offer this opportunity for the women of our church and we are sure that the women who participate will not only enjoy themselves but discover new relationships with each other and with God.

So, Keri was inviting people to come to our first Yada Yada group and she ended up with this: "It will be fun." (Now, I have already talked with her about this so don't think for a second that I am talking behind her back.)

"It will be fun." Not, "It will bring us closer to God."

"It will be fun." And, I am sure it was (our first meeting was last night and we had a great group of women) and will be fun. But, I am pretty sure that is not the primary reason for having a Yada Yada group.

Why do we feel like we have to emphasize the "fun" part of our ministries and programs???

Are people that desperate to have fun?

Is "fun" the best drawing card we've got?

Are people still thinking that doing Christian stuff is sucking the life out of fun and the fun out of life???

Now, I have to hasten to say that I am more guilty than anyone about inviting people to our programs and ministries because they will have fun. But, I have decided to make a change. Instead, I want us to emphasize that what we do brings us closer to God.

"Come and hand out food with will bring us closer to God."

"Come with us to lead a worship service at the county will bring us closer to God."

"Come to our Yada Yada Prayer Group, our worship services, our Bible studies, our Spiritual Formation Hour, our Elementary Fellowship will bring us closer to God."

"Oh, and you'll have fun, too!"

I suspect that the greatest need of the folks in our community is not to find opportunities to have fun (though I am sure that many would disagree with me) but to find opportunities to come closer to God with other people who are on that journey as well.

But, why can't the things that bring you closer to God also be fun? Just ask the women that attended the Yada Yada group. Just ask the folks who do our Forgotten Man Ministry. Just ask the 50 or so volunteers that helped pass out food last month. Just ask the folks that worship with us on Sunday morning. Or our Stephen Ministers.

I am guessing that most of those folks will say that doing something that brings you closer to God and having fun are not mutually exclusive.

It just depends on the emphasis.