I heard a story that illustrates this point. A young preacher had graduated from seminary and was called to pastor his first church in a rural community. He had just moved to his new church when the local funeral home director called and asked him to do the graveside service for a ninety-three-year-old man. Obviously the new pastor wanted to get involved with the community and minister to the people there, so he accepted the offer. The elderly man had outlived his friends and had just a few family members so the decision was made to have only a graveside service at a small country cemetery. The funeral home director explained directions to the cemetery and gave the new pastor the time and date. At the appointed time the pastor drove to the cemetery but lost his way. Finally, after several wrong turns he showed up thirty minutes late. The hearse was gone and no people were present. The pastor just assumed the few people that would have attended decided to leave. Since he had promised he would do the graveside service, he was bound to keep his word, so he could at least report this to the funeral home director and maintain his integrity as the new pastor in town. So he took his Bible, got out of his car, and walked to the grave. It was then he noticed the workers sitting under a shade tree eating their lunch. Apparently, they were waiting on him to do the service so they could cover the grave. The pastor went to the grave and found the vault already in place. He opened his Bible and read Psalm 23, made a few comments, and offered a prayer. As he returned to his car, he overheard one of the workers say to the other, “Do you think we ought to tell him that’s a septic tank?” The pastor had good intentions, but his good intentions were not enough. We must put some intentionality to our good intentions, or else we will end up with an unhealthy church on our hands.
Taylor, Allan (2009-06-01). Sunday School in HD: Sharpening the Focus on What Makes Your Church Healthy (pp. 20-21). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Allan Taylor is part of the All Star Sunday School Training Team. The others are Dr. Steve Parr, Dr. Elmer Towns, David Francis and Josh Hunt. We have a couple of dates we are looking for hosts. These are done on a shared risk/ shared reward basis. If promotion is done effectively, it should be a break-even for the host. See http://joshhunt.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/dr-elmer-towns-dr-steve-parr-and-josh-hunt-to-speak-in-valdosta-ga/ for details.