I’m Pro Project

Yesterday I met the director of an art gallery for adults with developmental abilities and discussed potential projects for the gallery and my church. I also spent 45 minutes on the phone with a friend at a church in Louisiana about a delegation from that church visiting us this summer and the projects we would work on. Then there were some emails about the Joke Night project a group of us at the church are working on, and some tweets with a potential MC.

Projects, Projects, Projects.

Is it just me, or does ministry these days feature more projects and fewer set pieces? Even the set pieces–worship, education, service–feel like projects: the seasonal worship series, the multi-week adult education class. Is this new, or has it always been like this? More importantly, is this a constructive development?

It feels constructive to me. For one thing, projects are far more amenable to team leadership than the set pieces. The Lenten worship series on The Stations of The Cross is something you can participate in without committing to joining the worship committee, so it’s easier to recruit a team of leaders well-suited to it.

The team changes, too. I’ve worked for several years on our community’s interfaith Baccalaureate worship service for high school graduates, and every year there’s a different team of us doing the work–including different graduates. It’s an engaging project because of the team.

Also, there’s a clear end date. Some projects last two weeks and others two years, but either way you know when it’s done.

And objectives are more clear with projects, aren’t they? What’s the objective of mission? That’s a long answer with lots of nuance and multiple caveats. But what’s the objective of our mission project in Peru? To support local churches installing water filtration systems in as many communities as possible.

I’m a fan of the master project list, a constantly updated compilation of all the projects you’re working on at a given time. More and more, I’m finding that if something’s not on my master project list, it’s not really a thing I’m doing.

Am I devaluing the set pieces here?