Friday, September 13, 2013

Go 2 Give Not 2 Receive

I am frequently reminded about how important it is to show up to things. "What kind of things?" you might ask.

Well let me start by saying that, at least in the NW, people are generally not great at RSVPing, coming well prepared, giving the right number in their party and bringing enough whatever they are supposed to bring when they do come, but...

"What kinds of things?". Like church for starters. People either don't show up at all or they show up for their favorite part and then leave. For example; there might be 2 services in the am, 1 being a Sunday school time and the other the main service and people come for 1 and don't go to the other. Maybe too much good cookin' is not what they want. Or they come for the morning time and then don't return in the evening.

Here's what I'm getting after and it's not just church it's other organizations you are a part of like clubs, PTA, team functions, Lion, Elk and other animals; all those types of things that we say we belong to and then show up when we feel like it. 

The issue is, we are a part of it. What if your left hand decided that it really didn't feel like going to an event that the rest of your body decided it wanted to be a part of; well that wouldn't work very well. You might say, "That's stupid because of course you entire body has to go all at one time". Exactly my point.

When we commit to something then we need to commit or not commit. 

Suppose the preacher works tirelessly to get the sermon just right, he has been thinking about it all week and is ready to speak his heart out and 4 people show up out of the 400 that were part of the group. Who looses? 

The preacher would be bummed because he had something that he really thought of value for the congregation but the real losers are the 396. Now they might all have some great reasons for not showing up that day but they are part of a body that they are committed to and they should show up unless there is a VERY good reason not to.

In a couple of groups that I currently belong to that are completely disconnected from each other there seems to be a "take it or leave it" attitude that prevails when it comes to attendance. That actually stinks for everyone.

Let's take a look at it from the outside and not in a church environment. 

I belong to a group that meets most Tuesdays. It's a small group that can really change the meeting day or time but we have elected to keep a constant time so there is no confusion. We invite people and there are regular attending people  that have said they want to be a part but when Tuesday comes very few people show up.

The person that has planned and organized the meeting, set the tables and taken time out of their busy week to get all this done has holes shot in their sails when 2-3 people show up. If I invite a guest to a meeting because "This is a really exciting thing that is happening here and I want you to be a part of it" and there are 2-3 people out of the 20-30 that could be there, well how exciting could a group be with that kind of attendance.

People, it's not about you and our schedule. It's about what you can give to the group that matters. Forget about the fact that maybe you will take something home of value after being there, go to give rather than receive.

If you aren't interested in remaining in the group then tell the organizers and bow out. If enough people do that then there will be no need for those that are laboring to labor thinking that many are going to show up to "eat".

I'll give 1 more illustration that has happened to me previously and may have happened to you and then I'll close my mouth.

If 25 people have been invited to Thanksgiving at your house and they have all said in some form or another that they are coming, even though you may have had to pry that from them, what are you expecting on Thanksgiving? 25 people or 5? 

If you asked them to bring a dessert or a salad and they showed up with a 2 liter instead does that really help you out? If all the salad people decided not to bring something or they were supposed to bring something to feed 8 and they decided that was too much work so they brought a salad for 4, well that doesn't work either.

we need to take our eyes off of ourselves and put them onto others. What can we give to others in that moment? 

It seems like a rant but really it's more the idea that those who don't show or 1/2 show are hurting everyone, including themselves. Let's be people that show up ready to participate. Be present.

No comments: