What We Really Need
Badge-a-minit. Acrylic podiums. Padded chairs. Kitchen cutlery. The incredible digital hymnal. And, of course, a free Reggie Racoon hand puppet. Apparently these are things I need, according to the "Pastor Resources: serving those who serve" catalog. It goes without saying that congregations spend much money and energy on gadgets and gizmos that aren't entirely related to the gospel, even small ones like ours that really have no extra money to spend.
What I really want in a catalog are some words of healing for the families who are struggling, reconciliation for that which is irreparable, hope for the sick, courage for the dying, excitement for the graduates (and their parents). I need to know God is present in ways we can't imagine, to trust the Spirit moves and breathes through us even when we resemble dry bones at the end of the school year. In the midst of transition by graduation, divorce, death, mid-life, menarche, and humidity, I need to know God is holding it all together.
I'm not having a faith crisis, or wondering whether any of this is true. I just marvel at the chasm of difference between what I perceive to be real needs and what someone wants to sell me so I can be a more effective pastor. Thankfully, I'm not much of a shopper, especially by catalog, so I'll take what God has to offer instead, and save our budget for something else. Maybe portable, lightweight Greek-style columns for weddings and baptisms.