Last summer during our church staff meeting, we were interrupted by a gorilla. This gorilla ran past the glass windows of the conference room, growled at us and got just close enough for us to realize it was not a real gorilla but someone in a gorilla suit. But still, when is the last time someone interrupted your church staff meeting in a gorilla suit?
Once the gorilla had our total attention, he fled through the administrative offices. We all jumped out of our meeting to follow him, but he was gone. We decided to divide ourselves up to catch him, all running in different directions in the building, through classrooms, by the nursery school, and even checking the bell tower, laughing and breathless.
Finally we caught sight of him again, jumping into his car in the parking lot. Thank goodness, he was removing his head before driving away. We saw it was Nick, a high school junior, playing a prank on all of us, but specifically the four members of our summer staff, our high school and college interns.
I tell this story to warn you that what I am proposing here may disrupt your life as usual as a church. Staff meetings are not the same with all that young adult energy. They bring Panini makers to church and set off the smoke alarm. They may forget to say, "Let us pray," in worship or they may forget to pray all together. They may write sermons that shock the congregation. Their friends may show up in gorilla costumes. Which is part of what we love about this ministry of being "a calling congregation." Put simply, not only is it important, it's also a lot of fun.
From teaching to calling
Years ago our congregation made a commitment to being a Teaching Church. We brought in seminarians to work during the academic year, learning to ...