Monday, June 29, 2015

Doing Church in the Hundred Acre Wood

Doing Church in the Hundred Acre Wood
(Walt Disney Pictures)
Just like there are many different characters who call the Hundred Acre Wood their home in the stories about Winnie the Pooh, our local churches have a bunch of characters as well. If you were to divide your congregation up into ten groups, they might look similar to this:

Winnie the Pooh
Pooh Bear
Poor Bears are generally happy folk. Their highs and lows don't vary that much. As long as they have a tummy full of honey, they are good to go. Fasting is not a high priority for Pooh Bears. Pooh Bears make great greeters and bake sale representatives. They are genuinely happy to see others and willing to lend a hand when needed. Spiritually, Pooh Bears would rather have someone tell them what to believe rather than to seek the Bible for answers themselves. When tasked to do so, they may respond with an “Oh, bother.” It's not that they can't seek answers for themselves, they just don't trust themselves to make the right conclusions. 



PigletPiglet
Piglets are scared of everything. They don't talk much because they are afraid that they will say or do the wrong thing. Like Tiggers, they are attracted to the latest religious news but focus more on the negative than the positive. Piglets like the hang around Pooh Bears because they stay emotional pretty steady. Piglets like to share on Facebook the latest rumor of scandals or things that Christians should avoid from questionable sources never bothering to double check the facts. Piglets tend to fear the unknown rather than to trust the known. Piglets tend to focus on God's judgment rather than His blessings. Piglets would have more friends if they could find a way to not second guess what everyone else is thinking about them.

TiggerTigger
Tiggers are passionate people. They have a hard time sitting still. Like Roos, they get excited easily. They tend to be drawn by feelings instead of facts and can be persuaded more by cultural influences rather than what the Bible actually says. Tiggers tend to jump on the latest spiritual band wagon. If they feel that the holy spirit is moving in a certain direction, they want to be part of it. Tiggers would read their Bibles more often if they only had the time. They are always super excited for the church's latest events, activities and ministries but tend to drop out early in favor of the next big thing. Tiggers tend to be late for church services, but enjoy sitting up in the front row. Tiggers are not great in following through in volunteering.


Owl
Owl
Owls are the patriarchs of the church. They have seen and done it all and are always willing to tell you about them. They tend to think of themselves as being “too old” to make a difference, but don't seem to have a problem explaining what the local church is doing wrong. They struggle with understanding why hymns are continually being abandoned for new praise songs with simple lyrics. They don't embrace change and like to grumble about anything new. Owls tend to be more disciplined when it comes to prayer and Bible study and have great insight if only others would listen to them. Owls tend to sit in the back row during services with the Piglets.


Rabbit
Rabbit
Rabbits are faithful church-goers. Rabbits are good at volunteering and following through with what they say they will do. Rabbits don't want to be in charge, but they have a strong desire to tell others what to do. They do everything by the book and expect everyone else to do the same. They tithe an exact ten percent and not a penny more. They sit in the same seats every Sunday. Rabbits are not only rule-followers, but desire to enforce rules on others, especially the Tiggers. Rabbits tend to see the world in black or white. Though they are not proud of it, Rabbits tend to have a “what's in it for me attitude.” They don't want to see their money being wasted on foolish endeavors. If it doesn't make sense to them, then it just doesn't make sense. 


Kanga
Kanga
Kangas are the sometime unseen heroes of the church. They are the Sunday school teachers, the prayer warriors and the ones who will turn out for every spring clean up without fail. They are usually the last to leave a church event because they are busy cleaning up a mess. Their hearts break for others and will do whatever they can to help if asked. Kangas are ashamed that sometimes they get jealous of some of the other more popular members of the church like Tiggers. Kangas are practical people with realistic expectations.


Roo
Roo
Roos are new Christians who are full of life and excitement. Every sermon is “the best ever” and every worship service the most powerful. They tend to show up every time the church doors are open and sit up front with the Tiggers while avoiding the Owls. They like to underline and highlight their Bibles a lot. They are still too new to the church to be jaded. However, if they do not have grounded friendships with others, Roos tend to fall apart when they find out the church, like the rest of the world, is full of imperfect humans.


Gopher
Gopher
Gophers are long time members of the church but only come out during big events like Christmas, Easter and potlucks. They are always friendly but are seldom seen.




Eeyore
Eeyore
Eeyores spend a lot of time in church. They arrive early and leave late, yet they are rarely happy. They tend to have a new pain, ailment or hurt every week. They would like to help serve the church in some way, but can't due to their most recent pain, ailment or hurt. They would go to the next social event, but they already know that nobody will talk with them except maybe the Piglets. They are convinced that the world is going to hell in a hand basket and tend to not notice others in pain, because they are distracted by their own. 


Christopher Robin
Christopher Robin

Christopher Robins are the pastors, leaders and passionate members of the church who see a need and try to fix it. They are full of spiritual wisdom and encouragement because they have a relationship with Jesus and take time to read and study his Word. They are compassionate people willing to care for others. Sometimes their lives can get out of control as they focus more on the needs of others at the expense of their own.

Related: Doing Church on Gilligan's Island >>>



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