Vacation Reading: The Church Mouse

I pulled this book out of my bag at the beach on Monday and I thought Bruce’s eyes were going to pop out of his head.

“Is that seriously what you’re reading on your vacation?!”

The mocking started when I pulled out a pen and started underlining.

Truth be told, I am not really a fan of novels.  My two favorite types of books are biographies/memoirs and books on theology and church leadership.  I realize I am on vacation and totally lame for reading work-related books, but … oh well.  I guess I’m lame.  This was actually an enjoyable vacation read.

Anyway – I started and finished this book on Monday.  It was a really easy and fast read, but still full of a lot of good information.  The author is an ordained elder in the United Methodist church (Alabama – West Florida conference, for all of my UMC friends out there) and completely obsessed with all things Disney.  He essentially took the basic principles of Disney – creating magic, having a focused mission, treating customers like guests, properly training employees, etc. – and talked about how the church could – and should! – adapt some of those principles.

I would definitely recommend this for pastors, but also for staff members and lay leaders.  It’s a new way to think about visioning!

Some of my favorite quotes …

“Jesus never spoke just in words.  He painted pictures.  He pointed out metaphors.”

“If the church continues to act as if the modern world still existed then the world around us will dismiss us as irrelevant.  This is truly a “whole new world.”  It is time for the church to wake up and engage that world with the best tools we can find.” <- Um, yes.

“Combining heritage and innovation is what the church is all about.”

“Disney does not open the gates to its theme parks each morning and hope for the best.”

“In the church we have the ‘greatest story ever told.’  We have two millenia worth of faithful men and women who have given everything for the cause of Christ.  God is doing incredible things in our midst today.  It is not for lack of stories that our people are not on a mission.  It’s lack of intentionality.”

“At the foot of the cross, we’re all equals.”

“If you help your people to see the need and the value then you’ll never have to beg for volunteers again.  Honor every person who serves in your church.  Celebrate each one’s ministry and they will all be happy to continue doing that ministry.”

“The community of faith should be a full-time (in lifestyle, not necessarily in pay) group of creative and innovative individuals unleashing living, breathing three-dimensional stories.”

“It is amazing how resources can be found when people truly buy into a dream.”

“The problem is that we sometimes become so focused on the results that we forget the details of the process.  Becoming a successful church is about every person doing the little things right every single day.  If you aren’t committed to the process of transformation, you’ll never achieve success in your church.”

“Don’t get upset with people for not becoming involved in a ministry or not giving to the church if you don’t intentionally train them in that expectation.”

“You’re a work in progress.  We all are.  God uses a crock-pot to make us more like Christ, not a microwave.” <- I love that one!

“Walt’s idea that we are to be “shapers of the world of tomorrow” is exactly what Jesus called the church to do.”

“The more you learn, the greater the chances of success.  Never stop learning.”

“The message of Jesus doesn’t change, but the methods must.” <- Amen.

“Being a Christian leader means giving respect without having to have it in return.  Jesus never demanded that people believe any certain way before he loved them.  Neither should we.” <- This one smacked across the head with a cast iron skillet.

“Be you.  You unique.  Be who God created you to be.”

4 thoughts on “Vacation Reading: The Church Mouse

  1. Sarah, powerful words… U are so well written, I think you
    should right a book someday. This really helped me as
    last few weeks I have not really been m yself.. I need to get
    back to the Janet I know. I love ministry work… Have a great.
    vacation, its not lame to read what u enjoy. I need to get a few
    books to read…I also like to read bio’s and memoirs. Maybe
    When u get back ill chk out your library and borrow a book if u lend than out.
    Blessings to u and Bruce….

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