Looking in as an outsider

I never really used to know what “maintenance mode” meant, as in, what it looked like for real, since it’s hard to objectively see the places you are in since you yourself are in the system.

I’ve had opportunity to see for myself some places I probably wouldn’t ever have thought of visiting, and from them I’ve learnt a lot about attitude. These two places are not far from each other, yet they feel so different.

The first was very welcoming. Small place, not a huge number, but people would sit down and say hi. Afterwards I had several enjoyable chats. Looking at the bulletin, I could see that the people wanted to be outward focussed from the mention of Connect 09 and the training course they were about to start. They were nearly finished doing up a new ministry centre and the rector had been there not much more than a year. The place had the feel of small, but outward looking.

The second was heaps different. Nice looking place which looked recently done, but the service leader didn’t mention welcome for first timers. I found it hard to know whether this guy was really leading me through the service. No one said hi as I was sitting there. Few people made any initiative to talk to me after. It sucked being there.

I don’t think I’ve seen any better example of how much attitude matters. I might still figure as a ‘young person’, but you can’t use the evening service as an excuse for the lack of welcome for me in your morning service. Is this maintenance mode at it’s worst? Sure their rector just moved on, but that doesn’t explain this.

Oh, and a tip for everyone. If you have slips that let people fill in their details, have pens or pencils handy, please?

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