Monday, October 30, 2006

Ministry Tips from a Three-Year-Old

Who needs seminary?

Wisdom I've learned so far from my three-year-old son about handling the ups and downs of parish ministry:

Sometimes when you're badly behaved and otherwise stubborn and difficult, all you really want is to be loved.

When you're hungry, eat. When you're full, stop. When you're tired, sleep. When you're awake, play. Everything else is for special holy days or else reason to complain.

Playing with water is enormous fun.

When confronted with babbling, all you need to do is listen. (And if you can't, at least pretend.)

Owies need band-aids. . .LOTS of band-aids.

Look folks in the eyes when you want their attention.

Keep it short and to the point. I'm BUSY.

Sometimes do it in a messy way. Order is overrated.

Never get between me and my mommy.

Sometimes it's better to go to your room and shut the door than to stay and say something mean.

The packaging is much more fun than what's inside.

Breaking routine takes herculean effort. Don't expect that to change.

If you want it to happen, keep pestering until it does.

The most fun about getting dressed is choosing your own clothes. . .

. . .the less fashionable, the better.

The fastest way to get nothing done is to try pushing harder.

Kicking and screaming are a form of honest communication. It's best not to kick or scream back, though.

Tears, smiles, and laughter matter more than words.

Music is great. Can we dance?

Blow bubbles.

Table manners are important. . .but only when the food is worth it.

If you aren't being heard, say it again LOUDER.

Read to each other. It's so much more fun than reading alone.

Put pillows down before jumping.

Take your favorite toys, just in case.

If a space is empty, fill it.

If things are put away, get them out.

If it belongs here, move it over there.

If somebody wants something, hide it.

Amen is a great response to every prayer. It's also a great way to stop a prayer that's too long (especially before a meal.)

If in doubt, sing.

Ignore what you don't like. If it persists, ignore it more.

Sometimes it's okay to approach the altar without reverencing (a.k.a. It's my altar, too!)

If you want something, lower your voice and turn on the charm.

Be wary of people who think they know what you want.

I want my bread!

Sharing is a great idea, especially when somebody else has something you want.

Playing with others is so much more fun than playing alone. So is getting into trouble.

No place is more boring than the Rector's Office.


Fr. John said...

Please note the tension between "breaking routine takes Herculean effort" and "if it belongs here, move it over there." From this all pastor - parish tensions evolve!

What sound wisdom and what a beautiful picture. Thanks for sharing them Richard.

episcopalifem said...

Priceless Richard. Thanks for sharing this!

I linked to it from my place.