Putt...putt... or Vroom! Vroom!
When the black 2005 Ford Mustang GT was in my possession, it would be placed into hibernation for the winter months so no salt would get on that wonderful car. My brother, who had it before me, did the same and my guess is that the current owner does that as well.
There was a cover to protect it and the car quietly stayed in my garage until I was certain there would be no more snow or ice. Occasionally, I would wax it—top to bottom, front to back. I rarely started the car, although a trickle charger was connected to keep the battery ready to go. As hard as it was, I had to wait for the weather to break before I allowed that Mustang to run free the way it was built to.
When I was ready to fire up those 341 horses—through that Ford racing exhaust system in exhilarating sound and fury—she was not. The electrical draw on the battery due to an anti-theft system was just too much for the trickle charger to handle. Regardless of my frustration at the delay, the car would not start and more effort was needed to get her up and running. I realized the Mustang was meant to be driven, and not just stored, however temporary.
Those thoughts bring me to Calvary.
Every year, we put Calvary’s energy and momentum in storage for the summer with the full expectation of restarting those activities in the fall. There is a trickle of people available to keep the basics charged and running during this dormant time. Meanwhile, we have the full expectation that when school starts, all services and activities will resume, full steam ahead.
The frustrating thing is that the restart doesn’t always happen as expected. It takes longer and longer for schedules to align and people to return. We wonder where everyone is. Vacations continue into the fall. Volunteers are more difficult to find. More and more effort is necessary to make Calvary inviting, exciting and growing all year round. The Church was not established to include a summer hiatus. It was created to be a year-round refuge for believers and an ongoing influence in the community.
When a church comes to a defining point in their history, there is no rationale for placing activities on the shelf for any length of time. We have come to that defining moment in our history. This particular year, while in the summer storage, updates and beautifications have been ongoing. Members, visitors, former members, and others often pass by seeing much of the progress. Calvary’s hope is that when people do return for the full schedule of enriching spiritual activities, that exciting return reveals a significant increase in the interest in what she is all about in connecting people to the love of Jesus.
The spiritual trickle charge has been on to keep things ready to go. We have reaffirmed our purpose, and adopted a vision with ongoing strategies. We understand better who we are, what our focus should be, and how we will serve our Lord. We are updating facilities, making them more beautiful and functional. All that’s left is to disconnect the trickle charger—permanently—and let the horsepower of spiritual empowerment run. Calvary needs leaders, volunteers, and trained people: all serving in their gifted area or waiting in the wings, revved up and ready to serve if needed. There is no reason for Calvary wear down or burn its people out.
As always, the Church … your Church …. remains in some form or another. There are still opportunities for worship. God’s Word will be read and explained. The Sacraments will be administered. The question is: What kind of Spiritual Life do you want to have at Calvary? Do you want to drive the Mustang 30 miles an hour with stop signs on every block, or do you want to put the pedal to the metal on the open road?
Those who are excited about what Calvary is all about and the preferred future that is possible in and through it, must be prepared to voice opinions, to serve as leaders, to serve as volunteers, and to put forth the efforts to make sure that this place in the Lord’s Kingdom is vibrant and responsible to the calling of connecting people to the love of Jesus.
Otherwise ….. putt...putt...putt...
I Remain Your Partner in Christ’s Work at Calvary –