Santa’s Workshop –
I have a book entitled “Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus” Here’s an excerpt from Page 17, “What makes a workshop wonderful is not walls and ceilings, but what happens inside those walls and under those ceilings... it’s not how a workshop stands, but what it stands for that make it special.”
Further down on Page 17 we read about a leadership project that was assigned to managers. The project was to design a building that would represent their ideal organization. One manager’s construction was just 6 columns. When asked, “Do you need more time to finish the rest of the building?” The manager said, “No, the six columns are pillars, and they represent values.” She went on to explain that nothing was more important to an organization than the values that support it. What are the value pillars of JCPC ?
We see the Give – Go – Live banners every time we gather to worship in the Great Hall. Those three words encompass a vast spectrum of JCPC values.
JCPC, like many other churches is facing new challenges due to changes within our church, community, and the post-pandemic world. I read that at one time 37% of requests to Santa from children were to bring them a shiny red wagon. Today, plain shiny red wagons are primarily bought to be used as decorations – and are no longer a coveted toy. Santa’s Workshop could still make red wagons, but it wouldn’t be long before Santa’s elves are mostly idle due to an excess inventory of red wagons. Should Santa and the elves be disappointed that red shiny wagons are stockpiled?
Well, I don’t propose that I can speak for Santa, but I suspect that the Workshop has been retooled to manufacture different toys that bring children just as much joy as a shiny red wagon. How can we retool at JCPC?
JCPC is a PCUSA Church in Johns Creek, Georgia, USA in the year 2022. We need to agree on our core value as pillars, so that those values will unite and guide as we seek to know God’s NOW purpose for His church.
GIVE: as Christians we know that giving is important. As the world changes the nature of the gift may change – no longer a shiny red wagon but the purpose of our giving should never change. Giving of our time, talents, resources, and yes, money sustains the operation, work, and mission of the church. We must give freely with a pure heart, and in so doing we create opportunities for us to show the love of God. Giving enables the church to turn its vision into an active mission. As a practicality, there are costs that go along with being a visionary missional church. JCPC needs your gift – whatever that may be. Giving is a core value of JCPC and an expression of our love for God.
But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. -2 Corinthians 8:7
GO: as Christians we know that “faith without works is dead,” and its corollary “we are not saved by works.” When we go and toil together the work becomes less burdensome. One of my favorite phrases; “I’m not just tired, I’m VBS kind of tired.”
To accomplish our mission we need volunteers, and ready reserve teams upon whom we can call when the task becomes too great for the few. Go, Go, Go is not what is required, but instead for each of us to hear how and where God has called us to go. We must know where we are going, and what resources it will take. We may need to give up our old shiny red wagon ways, and try new ways of going. There is always cost to go! Go and serve - takes people, time, and yes, money. Give and Go are inseparable as we pursue our value driven mission.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. -Hebrews 6:10
LIVE: Our mission is both within the walls of our church AND outside those walls. As our sign says, “You are now entering your mission field.” Whatever and however we give or go, we represent Christ and we are compelled by Him to show others the same mercy He has shown us. Live means we give and go always to the glory of God.
“'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. '” -Jeremiah 29:11
Give – Go – Live
Knowing God will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; He will counsel you with my loving eye on you. -Psalm 32:8