I was listening to NPR on my way home from work the other day and they were talking about the next great idea. On the 10th anniversary of the iphone, they were marvelling about how we ever lived without the world at our finger tips and speculating on the next big idea. There was talk of all the start ups, apps, and creative ideas that have revolutionized our lives in recent years.
As they spoke, my mind wandered to this idea of “entrepreneurial ministry”. This is a concept in church circles that points to the reality that churches need to be creative and competitive in how they fund their mission. Clergy, in the near future, will need to fund their own ministries and create ways to support the mission of the church not through the traditional pledges and donations and fund raisers. This new model seeks to be adaptive and innovative, just as real world entrepreneurs are.
This is totally not my comfort zone. If I were good at business, I would have an MBA and not a Masters of Divinity. Plus, when I went to seminary, this was not on the radar. I feel wholly ill-equipped for such work.
Then I had an epiphany! As the radio program listed innovation ideas of the last decade they mentioned Uber and Lyft. I had taken an Uber ride while I was in DC and thought then that I might be a good Uber drive. Being the mom to a teenager is really Uber without pay. Add to that the fact that teenagers will open up about things in a moving vehicle that they won’t face to face, and I was hooked. Then I thought of the folks who come into my office seeking care. Many just want someone to listen to their story and show compassion. Although I am a trained counselor, most pastoral care is really just being a supportive, reflective listener. So…
I propose Pastoral Car (trademark pending)! It’s like Uber for those who just need a lift (not Lyft). The lack of eye contact might free folks up to share more openly (just like the old confessional box). Some reflective listening, a brief prayer and things might seem a little better. (Pastoral Car like Pastoral Care… get it?)
Ok, it may not be a million dollar idea and I would not count on it funding next year’s church budget, but it’s all I got. Remove the entrepreneurial part and it’s just ministry… something we all can do.
Jesus said, “You know where I am going, and you know the way.” John 14:4
Lennon and McCartney said “Baby you can drive my car and maybe I’ll love you”
Beep, Beep’m, Beep, Beep, Yeah!