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We had a very informative and engaging workshop February 8, led by Rev. Dean Stoner, the National Missions Director of the AALC. He began by asking, “Why does PKLC exist? What are we here for?” Those are important questions for us and every church to keep thinking about, praying about and coming up with answers.
Why does any church exist?
We were reminded that God has blessed PKLC with gifts, gifts and talents that you and I have been given by our creator to be used for blessing others. No one can legitimately say, “I have no gift worth sharing.” So PKLC is blessed with a pile of assets waiting to engage the community. One of the most frequent ways congregations engage their community is through fund raisers, so kids can attend camp, or to pay needed repairs and so on. That means the church’s outlook is to see how it can tap into the resources of the community that will benefit the church rather than offering the church’s resources for the benefit of the community. The message fundraisers convey to the community is; we are interested in your money but we’re not interested in you. For outreach to be effective it must have a way of connecting with individuals for possible follow up.
Another aspect Rev. Stoner touched on was men’s ministry. Only 39% of men attend church, or 26 million in America. The average church has several programs or studies designed for women and/or children but few if anything for men. One size does not fit all. Men and women look at life differently and have different fears and needs. Men look for masculine elements of worship, and they want to be challenged. Their fear is powerlessness and their need is for respect. They are looking for purpose, vision, and reason to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
What Pilot Knob Lutheran Church needs to discover is what are the needs in our community that can be served by our current assets; to establish a foot print, something we will be known for in the community. To help accomplish this we will be having a follow-up workshop at 10:15 AM on Sunday, April 12. The purpose is to continue the enthusiasm we caught, brainstorm what needs we can meet that can establish an avenue of follow up. Come with ideas or simply listen. No one will be appointed to a job or told they need to do more. This should be an enjoyable and challenging time.