Last month I laid out the reality of being Parkview in this day and age. You had almost a month to chew on that. Now I would like to weigh in on what our attitude should be to that reality.
Jay Wright, the coach of the men’s basketball team at Villanova University, has written a book called:”Attitude.” He has taken advantage of having won the NCAA title last year. He talked about his coaching philosophy in a recent interview on Charlie Rose. He said:” I tell my team we are not responsible for our success, but only for our effort.” Then he went on to say that he gives his team points for attitude. They get points for staying focused on the play at hand. He tells them they lose “points” for the time they spend celebrating themselves and their plays or making a face at a referee’s call or beating themselves up after a missed play. All those reactions just make them lose energy.
I think this applies to the church also and our congregation in particular. We as a congregation are not responsible for thriving or not. That is the job of God’s grace in our lives. We are not responsible for how society has changed or how busy people are or how people are less interested in church than they used to be or even how many kids and youth are part of our community. We are not responsible for who shows up on Sunday. We are only responsible for our efforts and commitment in the moments at hand. Thinking of what the national Church used to be like in the fifties, sixties or even seventies just drains energy unnecessarily. All we can do is give our best effort in the now.
Lately the reality of not having a parking lot has taken energy. That problem is now behind us for the foreseeable future. We are renting a significant portion of the parking lot we used for free for many years. We have found a way to make up half that cost which leaves us to find only $5 per space per month (the cost of a fancy Starbucks drink). So the parking lot issue should be behind us now.
This brings me back to an issue I have brought up occasionally over the years in these Coach Corners: “how to create energy in the church rather than lose it.” This leads to a discussion at the session retreat on how we organize and plan events and how to make all Parkview family members feel included in those events. For a small congregation we have a good number of operating groups (Parkview Presbyterian Women, Mariners, Jujikai, Men’s, youth, choir, golf group and even the beginnings of a biking group). All these groups organize one or more events every year. Then of course we have Eddie and Yvonne’s invaluable Crew who head more than four fundraisers every year. They draw support from all those groups. The session sees the value of groups, rather than individuals, being responsible for making one or more events happen. However, the session also sees value in a new coordinating group with representatives from the different groups (and Eddie’s Crew), joining hands, hearts and minds in planning events that become part of a central calendar. We believe the joining of planning efforts will create energy, reduce overlap and encourage more (and especially newer) members of our Parkview family to participate. It may also lead to a greater balance of events (i.e. social, games, service, outreach, outside and inside, entertainment, dining, sports and physical activity and travel etc.). On March 12 after the service we would like to get your ideas about this. Please join us. Remember, we’re only responsible for our effort right now. See you in church and may God bless our ministry. Aart