A few weeks back, I opened the teaching in worship with an illustration about an overpriced mansion in Door County, Wisc. I said that it would be a tough sell anywhere in this housing market, but the fact that the $23 million estate was located in Wisconsin made it doubly hard, despite the pet mausoleum that came with the property! I went on to suggest that this was anything but a destination for celebrities, vacations or retirement.
I was wrong. My friend Katherine, who had sat there quietly that morning and listened, dropped some information on my desk later that week about any number of resorts there, a great community for the arts, and some of the other reasons that make Door County the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” Who knew?
I want to apologize to everyone from the Door County Chamber of Tourism … But seriously, this vacation destination suffers from what many worthy groups already know – if people do not know about you then they will most likely never visit. It is all about visibility.
The same is true for the church, but with a twist. Tens of thousands in this community know things about Epworth – they just don’t know you are a part of Epworth. They know you attend church, and practice living your faith in your daily walk, but not that your faith is being shaped constantly here in worship, study and service. They know you, but don’t know you are Epworth. I love it when folks within the church introduce me as their pastor – but I hope people are talking about their church just as much or more when their pastor is not around.
Our location here in the tall trees of this great neighborhood makes visibility for our church a challenge. It is a challenge that our leadership talk about regularly. But our best assets – not buildings or property – are visible every hour of every day in front of the most important people in the world – our neighbors. You are our best asset. You are worth coming to see.
<blockquote><a href=”http://thealbanyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ScottHagan.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-4378″ title=”ScottHagan” src=”http://thealbanyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ScottHagan-150×150.jpg” alt=”" width=”150″ height=”150″ /></a>Former Albany resident Scott Hagan is pastor of Epworth United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ga. He served until 2007 as associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in Albany, where helped to oversee missions and the young adult and contemporary worship ministries. </blockquote>