"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Friday, November 16, 2007

I understand...

I still haven't told you my idea for creative use of the pews. I will...I'm just waiting to see if anyone else has anything to offer.

I was looking through our policy manual today, and came across some statements of "how we work together" (for staff, board, leaders, whatever). They are AWESOME statements, if I do say so myself.

I think I'm going to stick them on my bulletin board for awhile. In the policy manual, there's lots of talking it out, in sub-points and examples, so no one misunderstands, but I'll just put the main statements here. See what you think.

They're best read out loud, and then you have to pause in between. An amusing experiment: How long does it take your brain to come up with a gazillion "yeah-but" exceptions to the statement? LOL

#1 I understand that I'm here to serve. Whoever. Whenever. However.

(pause. seriously!)

#2 I understand that I am one leader in this church family. We're in this together.

#3 I understand that pressure happens. When it does, I will not explode or implode - I will vent with grace.

#4 I understand that God isn't surprised. By anything. Ever.

I like these statements, because for me - they cover just about everything. They help me keep priorities straight. They help me not to think too highly (or too lowly) of myself. They help me communicate to new CF leaders just how things work around here. They help me not to panic at unexpected left turns. They remind me that my job is rarely efficient, and that's OK. (In fact, that's probably a good thing.)

(And yes, lest you are deeply disturbed, there is a mild disclaimer within the policy manual about healthy boundaries.)

34 comments:

mrv said...

I'm sitting here smiling to myself
cause of the manual.

Have a question Patti?

Are many of our leaders deeply disturbed? lololo

Sheepdog said...

I had the same reaction to the first point.

The other ones.... "vent with Grace"? What does that look like?

yep. I'd be fired within a week.

Dougie G said...

" I will vent with grace". This one jumped out at me too. I wonder if the fact that MRV, Sheepdog and myself are all self admitted "yellers" has anything to do with that?
Yes, this is a hard pill to swallow for a "yeller".
I got some advice from a friend once and he said to read 1 Corinthians 13 over and over until it got deep within my spirit. Guess what? It worked. Well, most of the time. My wife will attest to the fact I'm not perfect yet. I do have a love for people that is deeper than ever before and the yelling is becoming not so desirable any more. " Venting with grace" is becoming more of a desire and a way of life for me. God isn't surprised at that either.

Patti said...

OK, sorry, I meant "deeply disturbed" by these statements!

Not "deeply disturbed" in general.

LOL

"Vent with grace" - one of the sub-points on that is:

"Acknowledge my trigger points, and realize that I’m probably hitting someone else’s trigger points without even knowing it."

Dougie G said...

So true! We all have trigger points and they usually set off other peoples. God knew what he was doing when he brought in the concept of forgiveness. Without that we would all be sunk. I'm seriously considering getting an
" I'm Sorry" tattoo on my forehead.
I wonder how many people we leave bleeding on the sidewalk from our comments and don't even know it. Because if I knew what I did they would definetly get an " I'm Sorry" from me! Yes, venting with grace should be a way of life for all of us.

Sheepdog said...

"I'm seriously considering getting an
" I'm Sorry" tattoo on my forehead."

Big ouch. I know that feeling.

Will you do me a favour, Dougie? If you decide to get the "I'm sorry" tattoo, would you also get an "I'm forgiven" one?

****

.... you just got me to thinking....

Who has a video camera?

What would we learn about people and society if we sent someone out who was wearing a (temporary) "I'm Sorry" tattoo on their forehead, and we videotaped the reactions of people?

How would the reactions differ if the tattoo wearer was male, female, younger, older...? Would there be patterns of specific reactions among people belonging to different demographics? hmmm... and lots of other questions...


... oh... yeah... this is Patti's blog.

Just ignore me.

:)

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

tattoos?
did someone say tattoos?

:)

sheepdog -- i think that would be a cool video sermon illustration thingy ...

Patti said...

sheepdog!!! that would be an AWESOME experiment!!!

If anyone does it, I want to see the video.

Kelly, you pot-stirrer, you.

:)

Joe said...

As I got to the bottom of the posts I started to chuckle to myself. I can just imagine what sunday morning would be like if we repeated the past. Everyone in church having a temporary "I'm Sorry" tattoo on their forehead. In this church it wouldn't surprise me.

:)

Sheepdog said...

It's always interesting to see what happens when people bounce ideas off of each other and then puts their own spin on things. :)

You know what else this calls to mind for me? Remember Roy's sermon about the woman telling a little bit of truth?

Dougie told a truth. (and I would dare to say that a great many people have felt the way he described)

And look where it went.

Joe, that WOULD be cool for the whole congregation to wear "I'm sorry" tattoos and then, at a specified point in the sermon, rub it off and replace it with an "I'm forgiven"

hmmm.. are there tattoos like that? There's got to be washable ink or something like that which could be used....

hmmm... Do ya' think the Pastors at CF would actually DO something like that? (she says, tongue in cheek)

About the experiment - seriously, is there anyone with a video camera interested in helping me to actually do this? I would even write up the results and everything.

Anyone else shaking their heads at this point? What other group of people can go from talking about a policy manual to tattoos in church and sociological experiments? I mean, really... :)

Anonymous said...

Very interesting approach to have a tattoo on your forehead that says "I'm Sorry." How about "I love you and i foregive you" tattoo. I also like the video camera idea.
That reminds me of a video a friend sent me of a guy walking around in some city with a sign that said "Free Hugs." So many people responded and got their free hug. Eventually the police came buy and asked him what he was doing and then gave him a ticket/citation and he had to stop giving out free hugs. People were shocked and responded by collecting names on a petition for the "Free Hugs Man." Eventually he was allowed to give out free hugs again. I was very surprised as to how many strangers responded to the invitation of a free hug. Radical!

mrv said...

I am a yeller but I also feel that I can vent in grace if necessary and my choice.

Venting in grace is a learned thing which at CF comes from the top so makes it easier to learn, from example

Usually when I vent without grace, i'm one the first ones to know it.

Sometimes we vent to gratify our selves not because we don't know how to vent with grace. At least I guess I'm speaking for myself.

Dougie G said...

MRV... so true. We always have choices. It helps hanging around people of like minds. It does rub off on you.

Sheepdog... Ok I'll get a " I'm Sorry" tattoo on the front and a " I'm forgiven" on the top. temporary ones of course. How would that look? My dad has a video camera, but I think it's one of the old kind that uses super 8 film. It works though. I'm just not sure how you would show it to anybody. Maybe technical person would know. Digital would be better. Maybe we could rent one.
You would really do that wouldn't you? A video to see peoples reactions to a " I'm Sorry" tattoo.
Very interesting.
Maybe we could get on one of those Reality TV shows and make some money with it and put it towards the new building!

Sheepdog said...

"You would really do that wouldn't you?"

Yep. You know it.

:)

Patti said...

You guys are hilarious.

:)

I've heard about that "free hugs" thing. On one hand, it's a cool idea, and clearly people responded to it.

On the other hand...I don't think I would take a free hug from a stranger.

That's my introvert side taking charge.

Dougie G said...

Would you say something to somebody with a " I'm Sorry" written on their forehead?
I'm doing some market research here.lol

Sheepdog said...

I saw the free hug guy, too (on the internet).

I wouldn't take a free hug from a stranger. If someone approached me to try to give me a "free hug", I might sock him one!

Anonymous said...

I prefer God's Tattoo. You know, the one that's written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit that says, "I love you and you are very precious to me. The Father."

TLC said...

I had an incident at work where I received a 'free hug' from a total stranger. I'm not a 'huggy' person to begin with - as I recall, I walked back to my work station, and exclaimed in a loud, shocked expression: "I just got hugged from some lady downstairs!" Everyone laughed, and I was quick to point out that it was not solicited, and certainly unwanted! All the while my hands were still glued to my side, where they had been since 'the hug'. Everyone now knows not to hug me...I get a little testy about my space.

TLC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patti said...

Would I say something to somebody with "I'm sorry" tattooed on their forehead?

Hmmm. I don't know. It would depend on the context. If you were just walking by me on the street - nope.

If you were doing whatever your job is (like driving a bus, or working in a store, or whatever), and you had the tattoo while you were acting normal (!) I'd probably ask you about it.

If you were at a whole "I'm sorry" booth or something - I might, I might not. Spike probably would!

Joe said...

Sunday morning and no tatoos...

Now hugs are a good thing and I gave out a few but not as many as I would have liked.

Dougie G said...

You missed me Joe! Maybe next week.

Patti said...

dougie! did you have a tattoo??!!!

oh wait, you meant Joe missed hugging you, didn't you?

if you had a tattoo, I missed it too.

Dougie G said...

Sorry Patti, all I had to offer Sunday morning was a hug, no tattoo. I'm not as brave as Jeff. I would kind of like to have one though. I really like the "I'm sorry" idea. Maybe in a less conspicuous place than a forehead. Maybe the back of my neck like where Jeff has his. What do you think?
I would do a temporary on the forehead for Sheepdogs experiment!
That would be hilarious. I would love that.

Sheepdog said...

Dougie, I just need a video camera, man.

I would also want to sit down and write out the goals, targeted observation points, and perhaps even a hypothesis before going out. And a third person to take notes would be good (I bet I could convince one of my staff to do that part, though.... hehe)

Dougie G said...

You sound like a movie producer!
I can get a Super 8 video camera. That's the best I can do. Will that work?

Anonymous said...

I think some people in general have a difficult time saying either "I'm sorry" or "I forgive you." The tattoo might help them.
I read in the newspaper this week that a church group in a nearby city tried the "Free Hugs" thing in connection with the openning of their new coffee house. I think they were from the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. It seemed many strangers responded to them. Radical! Definitely not the kind of outreach that is for everybody.

Sheepdog said...

"I think some people in general have a difficult time saying either "I'm sorry" or "I forgive you.""

Hey, that's a good point. It's risky to do those things, isn't it.

"Definitely not the kind of outreach that is for everybody."

That's true.

People think I'm a touchy-feely person, but I'm actually not! I hug everybody who wants hugs at church - and, aside from my family - that's it. If our church gave out free hugs, I'd have to make arrangements to be out of town that day.

It's a good thing there's a whole body of Christ and not just an arm or a foot!

Patti said...

sheepdog - not sure if you're doing a play on words there, or if I'm just a little punchy from an early morning trek to TO airport this morning....

"It's a good thing there's a whole body of Christ and not just an arm or a foot!"

....because if we were all an arm, we'd all have to be huggers.

I'm not much of a hugger-of-strangers either.

mrv said...

LOL I'm with you on the out of town that day Sheepdog.

I don't mind hugs from some people,
but not a real huggy person myself.

Depends on who it is and the situation.

WOW, reading this ...I feel another
TATOO Sunday in the works !!!!

But since I think by this blog, Kelly started it, lol, she is going
to have to attend this time!!!!

And just for the record...if I saw someone walking down street with a I'm sorry tattoo on his forehead....I would automatically
think that he really wasn't cause it was too much work to tell the people in person !!!!

mrv said...

Actually had to add something to my statement!!!

It brought to remembrance my grandaughter when she was about 4.

I was talking on phone with daughter and she stopped to discipline my grandaughter. My grandaughter proceeded to call my daughter a (Donkey) but not in those words. lol

My daughter stopped again to talk to her and tell her that, what she
said was not appropriate nor was it going to be excepted, and that she must apologize or go to her room for punishment.

My grandaughter rolled her eyes and in a 4 yr old attitude....says ok
I'm SORRY your a Donkey lol.

Just a thought !!!! and hopefully a chuckle!!!

mrv said...

Actually had to add something to my statement!!!

It brought to remembrance my grandaughter when she was about 4.

I was talking on phone with daughter and she stopped to discipline my grandaughter. My grandaughter proceeded to call my daughter a (Donkey) but not in those words. lol

My daughter stopped again to talk to her and tell her that, what she
said was not appropriate nor was it going to be excepted, and that she must apologize or go to her room for punishment.

My grandaughter rolled her eyes and in a 4 yr old attitude....says ok
I'm SORRY your a Donkey lol.

Just a thought !!!! and hopefully a chuckle!!!