Can Your Church Be Enchanting?

Can Your Church Be Enchanting?
“It’s the most wonderful time, of the year…” Oh sorry, wrong season.
But if I had to choose a time in the church calendar that I like most, Holy Week is it.  It’s not that I'm into denial (the 40 days of Lent can seem like an eternity), nor do I like obsessing on the horrible cruelty that Jesus endured (thus I've never seen Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” – 13 minutes with Adam Hamilton recounting the torture and crucifixion was enough).    I know I must go through that journey to thoroughly appreciate and anticipate the main event – coming to your church this Sunday – Easter!  Hip, hip hooray!  Jesus is risen!                   

This Sunday, as I am sure you have had smushed down into your brains, IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SUNDAYS that you will face this entire year.  No pressure.  Everyone’s waiting to have an awesome spiritual experience – wowed beyond belief.  Visitors in their very finest will be making a decision for or against Christ based on the hour they spend with you (OK, that may be overstating the case – but I do have some friends who visited a church and were chastised because they blocked someone’s precious view – they were done with church. Forever. So it can happen).
Guy Kawasaki in his book Enchantment (see the butterfly on the cover – so very Easter appropriate) – suggests ways to develop The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.  Writing to the business world, Kawasaki is clear that enchantment is not about manipulating people.  He defines enchantment as “the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization, or idea.  The outcome of enchantment is voluntary and long-lasting support that is mutually beneficial.”
The word “enchantment” may make you question whether this book has any relevance to the church.  For heaven’s sake, church isn’t about enchanting people – it’s ultimately about challenging and motivating people to do the right thing – which can make them very unpopular in certain circles.  But as Kawasaki says, “The greater the goals, the more you’ll need to change people’s hearts, minds, and actions.”  Why that sounds positively Christ-like. And to do the Big Three (change hearts, minds, and actions) may mean letting people in on what makes your congregation the place to invest their time, talent, and treasure.

This Sunday, you have the opportunity to tell people the most wonderful story of all, that Jesus is risen and His people have been set loose in the world to make a difference because of His great love for us.  Reading the Gospel account alone is enchanting, life affirming, and transformational. 

“The angel spoke to the women: ‘There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed. Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message’”  (Matthew 28:5-7, The Message).

Thanks be to God!  Happy Easter.
 A Shout Out:  To our dear brother, Bill Mullette-Bauer who announced last Monday that he has written his last “Grace and Gratitude” blog.  Thank you Bill for bringing us this wonderful resource for the past few years.  And blessings as you experience retirement beginning in July!
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing.   Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations.  She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012.  And she loves malted milk robins' eggs.  Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation.  You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.