During an era gone by, people lived in a world where we were encouraged to work hard in order to live life to the full, for so many doing one thing for a fixed period of time brought rewards through a set income. We have moved on to an era, I would suggest, where the curious, the connected and the creative are now seen as guiding ways, which in essence reflects in flexibility, change and fluidity in our daily life. Lets be honest in a fast speed world, one has to get faster, the one thing, one time, one reward world can no longer exist alone.
Before you think you are not a part of this fast speed world and the need for speed, think on this. The frustrations of not being connected to the fast world, one test to try would be; living in a rural area of UK with no “fast” internet connection. I am fortunate if I can get connected to 0.8 to 1 speed, not even fast enough to be connected to TV connectors for catch up, which needs 3 gig min. Once you are dumped into this world, the need for speed is felt hugely as you cannot participate in this flexible, fluid world.
All this to say we live in a time frame where people are looking for work, leisure and a life that is purposeful and engaging.
If this is true, employment statistics and social commentators endorse this statement with many facts and figures, the USA state that dissatisfaction costs between £360 and £445 billion, yes you read correctly. In the UK some 70% of people, they say do not feel engaged in their daily routine. There is a great opportunity for the community of the King, the church to become the engaging factor of life. Opening up opportunity for people to engage. Many of us struggle in areas where few people offer their time to be involved, could it be that what we have offered has not been engaging enough for people, hence have lost people.
So then, what do we do, reconstruct a culture that engages. Firstly ensure you are engaged. I am always inspired with the view of Paul the apostle, in his grasp of the Mystery and his unpacking the Christ to us. However the reflection I would like to hone in on is Paul standing before king Agrippa, Paul outlines his obedience to the heavenly call, the Kings’ response was, you almost got me engaged. Some 20 years on from Pauls’ initial engagement with Christ, from the moment he fell off his horse, he is still so engaged, his encounter of Christ is still living in him to engage others.
Paul was engaged throughout his life, we too must keep alive our initial connection and experience of God engaging us, keeping it living. Revisiting and re-experiencing your reason for engagement, the living encounter with the resurrection life we have come to know, capturing the WOW of resurrection. Be engaged rather than let disappointments cause a disengagement, with hurt distancing us from people the ecclesia and Gods ways.
We have a habit of looking outward to others, attending conferences, listening to others, those we would like to have in our world, when we look inward we can also get hard and devalue self and the people around.
There is a need to recognise the culture you belong to, the culture, the community you belong to is so important. Culture will not be the new ‘vision statement’ or ‘goal’, it is actually the life you live and the life people meet in you, as they become part of you and your community. Together from, from the youngest to oldest, male and female, each individual forming the Culture of the community. It requires the input of every one in evolving and establishing, it requires a cooperative conversation. Culture requires the engagement of all together, communicating and working it out so that it is felt rather than enforced, the community and all individuals in it display the corporate culture. Every one who visits you will feel it. This will take TIME to establish, it is not a once off conversation and teaching, but a continual voicing and teaching, visualising the culture in every initiative as well. Culture permeates through, extends out and grows up, it comes through in every way.
Develop an engaged community, develop your own engagement, be engaged yourself.