Wednesday, October 12, 2011

4. Flour Power

Pastor Tony tapped the steering wheel with a bit of impatience and disgust in being caught in traffic here at the notorious Henderson and 23rd. He should have guessed this would happen in this 6pm going-home flood of cars. He was almost grateful that his cell phone rang to get his mind on other matters. His little caller ID screen said it was his hardworking Sunday school superintendent calling.

The phone was flipped open with a cheerful “Hi Mark. How’s my banker buddy?” “I’ve had a full day of meetings and just got home. It continually amazes me how people can have so much to say about things to be done, but don’t seem to get at it. Well… anyhow, Peg said you wanted to talk to me.” With a bit of a chuckle, “Am I in trouble again?”

The young pastor countered with, “No – absolutely not. Mark, is there any chance you and I can do lunch tomorrow? It’s my treat.” “Pastor I can meet you at Ben’s Bagels about 12:30. Would that work?” “Sounds great. That’ll work for me… 12:30 at Ben’s.” And the phone clicked off.

Pastor Tony made some morning visits and made sure to print out the picture of the cardboard thing he saw in Dan and Barbara’s Primary Sunday school class, the day before.

At Ben’s the waitress took the orders for sandwiches, banana nut muffins and iced tea. Tony asked the Lord’s blessings on the meal and also on the discussion. He then said, “Mark I want to thank you again for all your help in putting together our Pastor’s Conference. I’m truly proud of you and all our people.”

An object I saw in Dan and Barb’s primary class room has me puzzled and I hope you can shed some light on it. Here’s a picture I took of it. Where’d it come from? What’s it do?” He slid the photo in front of Mark. The cell phone camera didn’t do a very good job capturing the image but Mark recognized the cardboard thing that puzzled Pastor Tony.

Mark smiled big at Tony and slid the photo back to him and said, “That’s the beginnings of ‘Flour Power’.” Pastor asked, “What is this then…a Daisies and Dandelions Project for Primaries?” scratching his head to understand. “No… no… It’s Flour… F.L.O.U.R. Power. You know, like baking flour. Flour Power… Let me explain.”

Mark continued the conversation with details and good eye contact with the young pastor across from him. “About a week before the conference I met with Dan and Barbara discussing an idea they felt would help spark interest in their class and be a great method to help teach spiritual truths from God’s precious word. They both convinced me that we should move the cowboy and dinosaur themes toward the back burner and carefully integrate a computer flavor.”
Dan was adamant about the change not sending signals that we were to change our message or mission at all. They both are very sensitive to not offending anyone or their style. Barb mentioned that churches today have moved away from the opaque projector and overhead projector without changing their message or mission.”

Mark continued, “Barb went on to say, ‘Technology has allowed us to create and update our presentations tailoring them to the audience we’re reaching at any given moment. And I’m so glad we also keep a sharp eye on not watering down God’s message of Salvation and the God honoring life.’ Dan then told me that it is likely the church will give serious consideration to us using a computer theme to supplant some of the cowboy and dinosaur themes.’ Pastor, I suggested we work on developing the idea a bit, while keeping a close eye on the direction we’re taking. Do you agree?”

Pastor said, “Well it sounds good so far. But you still haven’t told me what the Flour… that’s F.L.O.U.R… stands for. I’m dying to know.” Mark asked, “Tony, if you’ll allow me, I want to explain that with a short story I ran across. I think we have time.” A nod from the pastor started the story.