Last week we launched Elvanto, our new church database. It should be a great blessing to our church, providing us timely information, helping us establish effect processes, and offering a central local for such things as event planning, calendars, and rosters. A church database is not ministry, but Elvanto will help us create structures to facilitate more effective ministry.
Structure is important. Our church needs it and I know I need more structure in my personal life. Good stuctures help us to be more efficient and thereby help us accomplish more good things. Structure is also important because we live in such a highly structured society. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you will encounter people with diaries, strategies, plans and systems. It's how we do life in Australia in the twenty-first century.
And therein lies the danger. Structures and systems often squeeze out community. I compare life now with when I was younger. Why don't people - those you live near and associate with - just drop in at any time for any reason? Well they can't. We're busy. If they want to visit it needs to be planned so that we can be sure that it will fit into our structure. If we must fit it into our structure. If we want to relate to people at church, we need to create a structure so that it happens.
I don't like it. This Christmas chill out and make time to get away from structures for a while. Spend some time just being, investing in relationships, and enjoying community.