Mike Cope's blog

Monday, September 12, 2005

Former Highland member John Lackey has lowered his ERA to 3.30 and is third in the AL in strikeouts behind Johan Santana and Randy Johnson. He's now 12-5 and has been a big part of the Angels' first-place standing. My dream World Series: the Cardinals and the Angels. - - - - Yesterday at second service, a woman about my mom's age read scripture before communion. And as she read Isaiah 53:4-7, she began choking back tears. This godly woman has read that passage thousands of times, and it's still as fresh to her as the first. It was one of the most meaningful moments I've had in worship ever. - - - - I've had a song stuck in my head all weekend. I cannot get it out. "Someone's knockin' at the door; somebody's ringin' the bell . . . ." Why do I get songs like that stuck? Why THAT instead of "Salvation Belongs to Our God"? Or why the Beverly Hillbillies' theme song instead of "In Christ Alone"? The only way I know to get rid of these songs is to pass them along to others. So now it's your problem. Someone's knockin' at the door . . . . - - - - A request for help. How do you handle children's sales (for school, sports, and scouts) and church assemblies? We've never let our children sell things at church. One reason is that the same people wind up being nailed again and again. It puts them in the awkward position of buying more than they want (and perhaps spending more than they have to spend--especially in such a large church) or having to say "no, thanks" while feeling that they've disappointed a child they love. But other parents permit their children to sell there since it is, in fact, their kids' extended family. I see both sides. Any suggestions?

36 Comments:

  • You could try putting the words to "In Christ Alone" to the tune of "Beverly Hillbillies..."

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 9/12/2005 05:03:00 AM  

  • Mike - I was at first service where I was overwhelmed by Joseph's prayers for Communion. I can only imagine how it felt at second service. Great day. As for those kids selling stuff - I know. We don't let ours sell at church either but then it's not too big a problem with Max. He'll never be a salesman anyway. You'd have to beg him to get him to sell you anything. Could be this is a blessing to our friends. I'm one of those who finds it hard to say no.

    By Blogger Candy, at 9/12/2005 05:08:00 AM  

  • Back at you with more of the lyrics.....
    Don't feel bad though, my song of the week last week in my head was . . . I like my truck, I like my grilfriend, but I love this bar....Ha . . . Steve

    LET 'EM IN
    By Paul McCartney


    SOMEONE'S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR,
    SOMEBODY'S RINGING THE BELL,
    SOMEONE'S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR,
    SOMEBODY'S RINGING THE BELL,
    DO ME A FAVOUR, OPEN THE DOOR
    AND LET 'EM IN, UH YEAH.

    SOMEONE'S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR,
    SOMEBODY'S RINGING THE BELL,
    SOMEONE'S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR,
    SOMEBODY'S RINGING THE BELL,
    DO ME A FAVOUR, OPEN THE DOOR
    AND LET 'EM IN, YEAH, LET 'EM IN.

    SISTER SUZIE, BROTHER JOHN,
    MARTIN LUTHER, PHIL AND DON,
    UNCLE ERNIE, AUNTIE JIN,
    OPEN THE DOOR, LET 'EM IN, OH YEAH.

    SOMEONE'S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR,
    SOMEBODY'S RINGING THE BELL,
    SOMEONE'S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR,
    SOMEBODY'S RINGING THE BELL,
    DO ME A FAVOUR, OPEN THE DOOR
    AND LET 'EM IN, OH YEAH, YEAH, LET 'EM IN NOW.

    DU DU DU DU DU DU DU,
    DU DU DU-DU-LU-DU UH,
    DU DU DU DU DU DU DU DU DU.

    SISTER SUZIE, BROTHER JOHN,
    MARTIN LUTHER, PHIL AND DON, OOH-OOH,
    UNCLE ERNIE, UNCLE IAN, OOH-OOH,
    OPEN THE DOOR, LET 'EM IN, OH YEAH-YEAH.

    SOMEONE'S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR,
    SOMEBODY'S RINGING THE BELL,
    SOMEONE'S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR,
    SOMEBODY'S RINGING THE BELL,
    DO ME A FAVOUR, OPEN THE DOOR
    AND LET 'EM IN, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH.

    UH-UH-UH-UH-UH,
    UH-UH-UH-UH-UH,
    UH-UH-UH-UH-UH.

    DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU,
    DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU,
    DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU.
    DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU,
    DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU,
    DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU-DU.

    By Blogger Steve Puckett, at 9/12/2005 05:50:00 AM  

  • I won't forgive you easily, Steve! . . . Heading to my IPOD to put on the Newsboys singing "Blessed Be Your Name"!

    By Blogger Mike, at 9/12/2005 05:57:00 AM  

  • Hey Mike, just thinnk about someone knockin' at the door wanting to know about Jesus. Let 'em in!

    By Blogger drjimwhite, at 9/12/2005 06:14:00 AM  

  • Da du du da da du da du da du du da du du du da da du da .... My Sharona!!!

    By Blogger Brad, at 9/12/2005 06:16:00 AM  

  • You mean it's ok to say "No Thank you" to the kids at church?

    By Blogger That Girl, at 9/12/2005 06:49:00 AM  

  • Bless you for not letting your kids sell at church. I'm 23, I've been married for a little over a year, and I'm on staff at our church. My wife and I cannot afford to purchase stuff from kids, and yet we get hit up all the time. (Like you said, the same people get asked over and over).

    By Blogger Josh, at 9/12/2005 06:59:00 AM  

  • Go Angels. I remember John Lackey when he was a little boy. Our family worshipped with his grandparents(John and Dorothy Emerson) in Missouri, at a small congregation. They are a wonderful christian family.
    I also agree with selling items at church. Because we are on staff, many feel that we are more than willing to support their cause. We tell our son to leave it at home and sometimes we will make a visit to the homes if someone is interested.
    Thanks for your daily updates. I always enjoy reading your current posts.

    By Blogger Lori Ann, at 9/12/2005 07:24:00 AM  

  • My song has been Inchworm! I mowed the yard and after mowing had an inchworm in my hair and watched him for hours inch around a paper plate!

    Anyway, about the selling, our philosphy has always been to tell the kids to keep their products to sell to someone else and give them a couple of dollars. That way, I have not said no, given what I can give to all who ask and then they still have their product to sell to some other sucker. It has worked for us. They don't seem to search us out much anymore. No hard feelings!

    By Blogger pegc, at 9/12/2005 07:34:00 AM  

  • Kids sell stuff at our church, and it doesn't seem to be a problem, though we are a lot smaller, about 200. I do know this, there's nothing wrong with saying no. Kids can accept that, and if they can't, then they'll learn. It seems to me church would be a good environment for teaching our children life lessons like this. I am for giving them some guidelines on how to keep it low key. Maybe stay away from visitors, don't harp on the same people, no whining, be polite, keep it limited to after church etc. If church is community, it woulds seem natural for our children to seek help there.

    I say all this as a sucker for kids selling stuff. I usually don't have the money, and I may not support what their raising money for, but I support them.

    By Blogger Brad, at 9/12/2005 07:36:00 AM  

  • I think it helps the kids to sell stuff at church but we are about 500. I sometimes feel like we are reenacting the scene from when Jesus entered the temple to clean it out. It can get frustrating. As the preacher, sometimes I just keep my mouth shut--I'm not driving anyone out.

    By Blogger KMiV, at 9/12/2005 08:03:00 AM  

  • It doesn't bother me for kids to ask if I want to buy something at church. If I want it and it would be useful, like cookies for my sweet husband, then I am all for it, if I don't have the extra money or I am not interested then I just say no thank you and give them a big hug and say thanks for asking me. My kids don't generally bring stuff to church to sell, but my son who is 8yrs now has every Christmas raised money to buy a goat or two from the World Vision catalog to donate. He is happy to receive a penny from a classmate to whatever. He gets alot of positive feedback from our church family on his fund raising efforts and it has been a character builder.

    By Blogger Tammy M., at 9/12/2005 08:22:00 AM  

  • Great feedback about my question. Brad and Tammy, I think you've both helped people understand better that "no, thanks" and a hug are perfectly acceptable responses.

    I just finished speaking to the MOPS group at Highland. What an amazing bunch of young women!

    By Blogger Mike, at 9/12/2005 08:50:00 AM  

  • I feel like such an idiot. After re-reading the responses, including my own, I realized how sour mine sounded! I didn’t mean to come across that way. Now,I wonder if I am that sour older person that no one wants to bother! They just talk about me and slide around me so they don’t have to encounter me!

    After reading the other comments, I realize how that a hug and smile might be a better response. I still like giving them money, even a few dollars to add to their fund.

    Thanks for the encouragement to change my attitude, when I didn’t even realize I had that attitude.

    By Blogger pegc, at 9/12/2005 09:19:00 AM  

  • OK, several responses to the various topics.
    First, Mike are you actually counting out the mighty Rangers? :) OK, maybe they're out, but how about that Michael Young? Is he awesome or what?
    Second, communion yesterday... I sure wish I'd gotten to hear Margaret. I was moved in 1st by Squeaky's passion and Joseph's transparency.
    I have no idea what it says about me that I laughed out loud at whoever posted the comment that had a bunch of sounds and "My Sharona"!
    Finally, as for the children selling things. I, for one, don't have a problem saying no, so I may be the wrong one to ask. However, one of my boys brought home a "Laps for Learning" fundraiser from PE and I actually tossed it in the trash. Good mommy, huh?

    By Blogger Amy Boone, at 9/12/2005 09:39:00 AM  

  • I don't let my children do fundraisers at church. I, personally, have a hard time saying no when approached about buying over-priced wrapping paper, candles, chocolates, cookie dough, etc. I don't feel comfortable allowing my own children to put other people in the postion of either having to buy something they don't need/want or having to say "no".
    When my kids started school (and the fundraisers quickly followed) I always felt obligated to participate. I would buy the minimum amount that would allow my child to come home with a cheesy prize. Now, my kids know that we just don't do fundraisers anymore. And when broached with the question "but don't you want to help my school?" my reply is that I'm happy to give as much TIME as possible by volunteering!

    By Blogger Angela, at 9/12/2005 09:44:00 AM  

  • I have heard that the way to get a song out of your head is to sing it all the way through to the end. It may work for some, but not for me. I remember Stephen Bailey and Nino used to instintively know what songs would get stuck in people's heads and they would walk up to someone and sing a line and then walk away. If I remember correctly, one of Stephen's favorites was "I'm a big kid look what I can do. I can wear big kid pants too..."

    I don't let our kids sell at church. Just thinking about the message, I want them to come to church to give, not to sell. I remember some Highland kids whose parents went by the same rules used to call us and ask us to come over and look at their wares. They lived about 150 yards away. Lazy punks.

    By Blogger Val, at 9/12/2005 09:51:00 AM  

  • I agree with Brad and Tammy. It is okay to say no! Wow, what a better "training" ground for rejection than in your own church family. I like the idea of setting limits with your children about it. I also agree that the preacher and staff are probably asked more than others, but then we are more "visible" which is probably another topic we could discuss!
    Mike, I want to thank you for your post concerning "opening our eyes." That was great insight. I just wanted to remind everyone that there are several Community ministries at Highland that will give you a chance to "open your eyes". FaithWorks, Freedom Fellowship, Christian Ministries, BOBS, Celebrate Recovery, etc. have many opportunities and these
    ministries will allow you to set your own hours! The reason I especially wanted to mention this was that yesterday two women came into Highland asking for a place to sleep. During the conversation, one of the women mentioned that she was really angry and upset because Katrina victims were getting all the help right now and those in need here in Abilene were being ignored! This is something to think about. Thanks for letting me advertize!
    Becky

    By Blogger balmanza, at 9/12/2005 10:08:00 AM  

  • That confirms it........McCartney IS a genius! He used my initals to make one of his songs a big hit.......hey wait a minute, where are my royalties? :)

    DU

    By Blogger David U, at 9/12/2005 10:52:00 AM  

  • I am frustrated with the fact that our children even have to sell stuff in the first place. Why can't they just charge more for school, sports, etc. instead of making our poor kids be salespeople! They'll be in the working world soon enough! Let them play & have fun & be kids! I am trying to discourage my children saying "We don't think it's right to make children sell stuff." It doesn't go over too well when they get incentive prizes for selling stuff, but are we really trying to raise little future telemarketers? I say we boycott ALL fundraisers ASAP!!!!! Whew! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest Mike!

    By Blogger Beaner, at 9/12/2005 11:23:00 AM  

  • I've already posted my opion about fundraising at church, but in rereading your post I realized you were looking for suggestions. We recently left a congregation where my husband was the pulpit minister. (Yes, I think every kid sought me out at fundraising time!)This congregation also had a daycare/preschool program on campus. Whenever the daycare had a fundraiser, we would set up a table in the church lobby to offer members a chance to participate. This seemed appropriate since the daycare was a ministry of the church there. Would it be appropriate to have a space available for children to stand and offer their "merchandise"? Those congregants who might be interested can stop and look and those who aren't can pass on by without feeling pressured. Or does that ring of money-changers in the temple?

    By Blogger Angela, at 9/12/2005 11:39:00 AM  

  • I once asked our PTA fundraiser how much money we wanted to raise per child. She said 25 dollars. I asked how much each child had to sell for us to make that. She said $125. I wrote her a check for $25 dollars and told her my child would not be selling anything that year.
    But when it comes to GirlScout cookies...those little boxes of carbs and fat sell themselves!

    By Blogger SG, at 9/12/2005 11:43:00 AM  

  • I personally loath all fund raisers, but I know they are needed by schools.
    I would not let our children sell for fund raisers and especially not at church. I made a donation to the school...that way the school got 100% of the proceeds instead of a small percentage. When approached, I will make a small donation rather than purchasing something I don't really need to have or need to consume. A hug would go nicely with this donation.

    By Blogger goldlenlocks, at 9/12/2005 11:47:00 AM  

  • Amen, SG, I was the Queen of Girl Scout cookie sales. They really do sell themselves! :) As far as the other fundraisers went, though, I used to hate them. To me, if the money goes directly to the child, it is worth it. But in the case of most fundraisers, only a small percentage of the money raised actually makes it to the "good cause". So sad that children are still subjected to this awful enterprise! LOL

    By Blogger Heather A, at 9/12/2005 12:42:00 PM  

  • I don't know about you, Mike. The song that is currently stuck in my head is "How Great Thou Art". I can't sing "In Christ Alone" without tears. It was sung at my daughter's best friend's funeral. (I like that in African-American churches it is called a HOMEGOING!) A young woman with two very little girls, who had an angel's voice until she was struck with mouth cancer. My second reason for the tears is - she is singing "In Christ Alone" right now to her Christ. How awesome is that. Still miss her though.

    By Blogger monniecoco, at 9/12/2005 01:43:00 PM  

  • I don't need any more wrapping paper nor do I need one more tin of chocolate-covered pretzels...but how can I refuse my cute little red-headed kindergarten-aged niece?!

    By Blogger Sarah, at 9/12/2005 01:44:00 PM  

  • Let's expand the selling discussion a bit. What about the ladies at church who are asked to buy or attend Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Longaberger, Home Interiors, and Candle parties? (and scores of others I'm sure). I was at a church once where the ladies hosting the party would then bring all the merchandise to the church foyer and everyone picked up their goods there. I just think there is a better time and place for that. It seems to me that our focus should be on worship, Bible study, and spiritually edifying one another instead of making a profit off of them or earning free gifts. Leave the business world outside.

    Another thought (at the risk of sounding like a chauvinist pig)...why are most men not compelled to sell stuff...like tool or sporting goods parties?

    By Blogger John, at 9/12/2005 01:47:00 PM  

  • I think the fundraising gets a bit more appropriate as the kids get older. The stuff they sell is more reasonable (not over-priced candles or wrapping paper), and it is going to help for a group trip or something similar that is really concrete.

    I've got no problem with the kids selling at church - it certainly beats them going door to door, and, no thanks is a totally acceptable response.

    If we're ranting about getting bugged at church - my vote is for those adults that chose to conduct all varieties of business at church - even during worship service.

    By Blogger KentF, at 9/12/2005 02:07:00 PM  

  • Speaking of songs in your head! The commercial/public service announcement about washing your hands and how to time the correct time is, [oh, dear]sing to yourself,

    "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star..."

    Now I'M going to have to put on some Mahler to get that out of my head!! GRRRRR!! lol

    As far a selling at church, I can handle the kids, but when a parent calls, leans on me to buy from their child, sorry, but that really upsets me. It smacks of emotional blackmail. :(
    So for me, bring on the kids - I can handle their requests.

    And baseball? My poor, bedraggled Padres keep holding on to the first place spot in the even more ragged National League West. But at least they ARE in first place. :o) Tonight we look forward [sic] to Barry Bond's return, and the joy of watching Jake Peavey pitch. Now there's a pitcher for ya' guys!!!!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 9/12/2005 05:15:00 PM  

  • I continue to long for an edit button on here, so will add to previous comments with a new one.

    It was not possible for me to attend services yesterday due to a bad, bad asthma event, but thanks to the sound/tape ministry, was able to 'attend' via speaker telephone.

    Communion is always an emotional and humbling time for me. When at home, I set up my own communion table and join y'all at home. I found myself accompanying the reader's emotion during her reading of Isaiah 53 passage. She read it with such love, it made these verses seem new, as though hearing them for the first time. I agree with you Mike, it was a powerful worship moment.

    By Blogger Kathy, at 9/12/2005 05:24:00 PM  

  • Selling @ Church, I'm for it. My friend Jeff Hudnall in Lubbock (jeff@aviacandles.com) is the guru of fundraising he sells a book in Lubbock called: Enjoy the City. One Church has raised mucho dinero in Lubbock and many are fighting over who gets to sell it--amazing people fighting over money? The value is there--all good deals--and its only $12 for a ton of good deals...other locations will open up soon--Enjoy the City: Abilene is coming---United even has a coupon in it, and yes Friendze will have a coupon in it---and many other good deals---again I stress value--if we teach kids to sell something of no value, I have a problem with it--normally there's a 10X's mark up in your cookie dough, and wrapping paper---examples abound---

    By Blogger Homer, at 9/12/2005 05:24:00 PM  

  • Today, its been "Great is thy Faithfulness" for me.

    If a lyric has to be lodged in your consciousness, it can be a lot worse than "strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow."

    On the issue of selling stuff at church, I don't really mind it that much. I enjoy the chance to interact with some of my favorite Highland kids and (maybe) help them out. And I don't have much trouble saying "no" if I've already bought this year...

    By Blogger Matt, at 9/12/2005 06:16:00 PM  

  • At the Rochester Church (Michigan) we have a designated area of the building where kids, ladies' groups, college associates, etc. can set up tables and sell goods. It is by our fellowship hall, but out of sight of the foyer so that visitors aren't hit by sales pleas... and so members can come and go unharrassed.

    By Blogger PatrickMead, at 9/12/2005 06:52:00 PM  

  • I have to chime in because of what happened to me this past Sunday regarding fundraising. This sweet young middle-school girl came up to me and said, "Um...are you Cole?" I said, "Yes." She handed me a catalog full of sundries for sale and said, "Here. You know my mom."

    I laughed so hard at her patter that I felt persuaded to buy some pretzels.

    By Blogger Cole, at 9/12/2005 08:58:00 PM  

  • Homer,

    I bought several of those and they are great! I paid $10 for mine. One trip to United paid for the whole thing!

    I am grateful I don't get cornered at church with fundraisers. I have enough of that at school. But something like what Homer just mentioned really sells itself and people come out of the woodwork to buy them, once they know what they are.

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 9/13/2005 06:50:00 AM  

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