March 30, 2013

Time for a Change

First I want to say, "Thanks!" Thanks for taking the time to read the sometimes random things I write here. Thanks for encouraging and challenging me with your questions and comments. Thanks for making it worth blogging.

Because of you, faithful readers, I have decided it was time for a change. I have been blogging here at A Journeyman's Catalog for over 6yrs and have realized I was ready for something different. This will be my last post here and from now on I will be writing at a new blog I created entitled, In The Neighborhood of Holy. <> I am not "officially" launching the new blog until Monday, April 1st but thought you deserved a sneak-peak if you're interested.

I would be honored and flattered if you would consider joining me there. Don't forget to update your RSS feeds and change them from this site to Thanks again for coming along on this part of the journey, I look forward to traveling the next part with you as well.

March 15, 2013

Church Communication & Our Older Adults

I spent some time leading the older adult study group at our church earlier this week and used the opportunity to have a conversation about communication. We talked primarily about the ways in which they communicate and their thoughts on the communication coming from our church. I learned some interesting things from this group of individuals who averaged 75yrs in age.

  • Only 50% of them have email and the ones who use it check it daily. 78% of those who use email are subscribed to receive church emails.
  • 78% use cell phones but only 14% of those text. 7% use their cell phones to access the internet. 
  • 6% use Facebook to "look at" family & friends but have not updated their profile.
  • None of them use Twitter. 
  • 6% look at our church's website, and that only once a week. A few did not know the church had a website at all and did not know the address. 
  • 94% take the Sunday bulletin home with them each week. Many of them could not understand how individuals "survive" without it. 
  • They viewed announcements made from the pulpit as the most important.
  • They felt that our church communications included too much "insider lingo" and too many confusing acronyms. 

  • The communication challenge within the Church for the foreseeable future will be to walk this tension of traditional and modern forms of communication and how to best use the two while honoring their users.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.

    March 5, 2013

    Ongoing Preparedness

    Henri J. M. Nouwen had taken a prayer sabbatical away from his teaching duties at Yale for a few days at the Trappist monastery in Geneseo, NY. While on his retreat, he was approached by a group of college students asking him to lead a retreat for them. He did not want to and asked the abbot of the monastery about this...

    The abbot said, "You're going to do it."

    "What do you mean? Why should I spend my sabbatical time preparing all those things?"

    "Prepare?" he replied. "You've been a Christian for forty years and a priest for twenty, and a few high school students want to have a retreat. Why do you have to prepare? What those boys and girls want is to be part of your life in God for a few days. If you pray half an hour in the morning, sing in our choir for an hour, and do your spiritual reading, you will have so much to say you could give ten retreats."

    The question, you see, is not to prepare but to live in a state of ongoing preparedness so that, when someone who is drowning in the world comes into your world, you are ready to reach out and help. It may be at four o'clock, six o'clock, or nine o'clock. One time you call it preaching, the next time teaching, then counseling, or later administration. But let them be part of your life in God-that's ministering.

    (an excerpt from "Time Enough to Minister" (Leadership Spring 1982))