LAPORTE | On Thursday April 18th, Pastors and Ministry Leaders who are part of the Greater LaPorte Ministerial Association met for a discussion about the topic, “Creativity in the Church”. This discussion was facilitated by Cynthia Hedge and Keri Marrs-Baron from “The Center for Creative Solutions” and was a part of “Creativity and Innovation Week”.
Cynthia and Keri led the group in a creative brainstorming time using three challenge questions. Each question was asked then the group was asked to write suggestions on sticky notes that were gathered.
Our time started with a fun warm up question that uniquely fit the ministry group. It was, “Suppose you’ve just come to church on Sunday morning and you discover a Hippo in the baptistery!! How are you going to get it out?” Here are a few of the groups responses to this question: call the zoo, bribe him with food, bring in a tow truck, put a lion in the tank, bring in a crane, call a butcher, threaten to baptize him, ask if we have a hippo trainer in the church, drain the water, pray him out, and bring in the alligator.
Our next question got serious and got the group thinking about what if a tragedy hit our community. Question two was, “There has just been a tornado that has hit the city of LaPorte! What can the churches do to serve the city together?” The group generated over one hundred eighty ideas in a few minutes! Here are some of answers: offer food to those impacted, provide counseling, provide funerals, mobilize volunteers for cleaning, help people find and take care of their pets, bring in farmers for a farmers market, offer transportation, provide shelter and support, provide child care, coordinate with the hospital, provide water, and offer prayer meeting for our community.
Our final question was directed at our challenge as churches to honestly and effectively reach out to the community with our ministries. Question Three was, “Recent studies show that only 20% of the US population attends church on a regular basis. Our churches are trying to reach new people but it’s showing little results. What can we do together to reach those that don’t currently attend church in LaPorte? The group came up with over 190 suggestions for things we can do. Here’s a few of them: focus on building the community not the church, open up classes to teens to teach them to cook, offer day care, have special programs for teens, hire staff that are external in their focus, offer pet events to our community, kid contests, offer help on home improvement projects, serve the community, equip our people for missional living, prayer services, pulpit exchanges, and much more
Conclusion-We talked about how to narrow these options down and how we might pick a few and work on them for the coming year. We discussed our annual Sharefest, “Day of Sharing” that will be held on Saturday May 18th from 8am-12noon. We will gather on the steps of City Hall for a brief orientation and prayer meeting and then release our volunteers from 8:30am-12noon. Our next Ministerial meeting will be held on Thursday May 16th at 1:30pm at the New Church 812 Indiana Ave. Our speaker will be Honnalora Hubbard, from Terra Haute, who is involved with the Governor’s Faith Based Initiatives. If you would like more information about the Greater LaPorte Ministerial Association contact Pastor Mike Sutton at 219-510-3193.