The last couple of posts have been on pruning and vine dressing, with the promise of what to cut. You could say this is the first of the “what to cut” series, that will probably be a weekly or monthly staple. I welcome your contributions on this.
I believe sometimes what to cut stares everybody in the face, except the people doing it.
For instance: Why paint cats?
Here is a book that inverted the national phenomenon of Why Cats Paint, putting up a canvas and letting your cat step into paint and then scratch at the canvas for entertainment. Wow, having a kazillion games on my iPad just doesn’t sound like fun anymore.
First, why would someone want to paint a cat? Second, have you ever tried to give a cat a bath? I couldn't imagine what you go through to paint them. And isn't that a little inhumane, decorating cats? Then if painting a cat wasn't enough write a book about it. Not just a book describing this odd behavior but a book on how you too can get your cat painted for $5000.
I can’t say too much about this I face paint for missions. Could there be a book “Why Paint Kids?”
Yet what about our lives, do you think that every now and then we spend time doing things that are just as odd as painting cats? Do we step back and really ask why we do some of the things we do? Maybe unknowingly we are going about our daily business with our dress stuck in our panties. Having your sisters around to make sure all is in place is a really good idea.
What about ministry? Is there something we are doing in ministry that we think is perfectly normal but to the unchurched is sort of like painting cats? What about the sister’s in your church that don’t come? Maybe they would like to come but for some reason they really can’t answer the “why do that” question.
This is a great place to start with what to cut. The Why Paint Cats stuff. The stuff your doing that really doesn’t make any sense anymore. There was a moment in the ministry it made sense.
Just like there is entertainment value to sort through all the pictures of painted cats, but painting the cat myself is probably not going to work for me.
There is also the painting cats ministry. You know painting a cat to look like say, a keyboard, a feather even a person. A cat is a cat. People are people. They all have their quirks, that is what makes them unique. I see this a lot when women start mentoring the young adults. A ministry that is trying to paint women on the outside to look like something they aren’t on the inside is painting cats. We might be wondering why the woman we are trying to paint are pitching such a fit. Maybe like the cat, she doesn't want to be painted.
The kicker here is, you are going to have to ask those on the outside looking in. And listen to them. Have you ever tried to tell a lady she has toilet paper on her shoe and she gives you all sorts of attitude. Doesn’t that make you hesitate telling her if it happened again? Maybe people have tried to tell us, and since we didn’t listen back then, why would they tell us now? Change the attitude and listen, there might be a painted cat in your ministry.
Put your feet in someone else’s shoes and see if there are somethings you are doing in ministry that doesn’t make sense. Put yourself in the shoes of the unchurched. If you have never read the bible would you know what people were talking about in the Bible study, fellowship group, is there a lot of lingo no one understands. The first time I went to Starbucks I was completely lost, who calls a medium a grande? Ask the “what’s the point to all this” question. Ask is this a painted cat? if so Why?
Do you have an experience with some Painted Cats in ministry or know of some painted cats that we could stop? Leave a comment and share.