So, how do you think we (FCC) are doing? How would you suspect finances are? How about attendance both in-person and online? What do you think the volunteer pool looks like? The answers might or might not surprise you. The overarching answer is – it’s a mixed bag, so let’s take each question separately.
Considering financing (since it seems to be the thing people worry about first and most) things are again a mixed bag. When the pandemic hit and we were forced to stop gathering, we were concerned about whether or not members would send in their tithes and offerings. But, as is often the case, when things are in the spotlight people pay attention and the funds flowed in. In fact, there was a period of time when we were receiving more funds than when we gathered! However, as the time wore on and we started creating a new normal, giving has been steadily declining.
Attendance is an interesting study in confusion. Since we couldn’t gather, we worked hard to provide online worship services on YouTube and Facebook with mixed success. We certainly have learned a lot and we are getting better but candidly, I don’t know what most of you are doing. Since we have begun gathering again, we have about 50 or 60 people in attendance between the two services and it appears maybe half that watching online. If that is true, then between 150 and 200 people aren’t participating at all! Frankly, I don’t know WHAT to do about that.
Finally, with all that has gone on, it is really hard to find volunteers right now. We need folk to help on Sundays and we need to get people identified for “normal” operations which we hope will happen later this year. For example, are we going to do Faith Followers when school starts? Will we have enough people willing to help make that happen? Will parents bring their children? There are a lot of things still up in the air.
I referenced all the above for this reason; what we do and how we act only counts when it really matters. It’s easy to give when your pockets are full. It’s easy to volunteer when it’s something you really like doing. It’s no problem to help when there is nothing else calling you. What really counts is how one responds to need. It is at that point you are either a partner or a spectator. The time is coming and almost here when each of us will have to answer the question, are we part of the problem or part of the solution.
My mom used to love quoting the old axiom, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” I didn’t know that meant they left, I thought it meant they got busy and did what needed to be done. What does it mean to you?