Okay, I just came across a new pet peeve of mine. I was hanging out in the check-in area on Sunday and it was about 15 minutes after the service started and I mentioned something about shutting down check-in. Someone responded that it was too early and people here are on Gateway time. That was the second time I heard that since I’ve been here. The last time was a few weeks ago. I was sitting in morph (a new discipleship program) and the speaker said something about only having a handful of registrations a week before, but now there were more than 60 people participating. He said something about this being the Gateway Way. All this sounded familiar.
However, I put 2 and 2 together today. I got an email from a previous co-worker at Cross Timbers. She was talking about how registrations come in slow and at the last minute. She said, “You know how it is on CT time.”
You know what?I think I can even remember back to my first full time position at a church in IN. I seem to remember talking about how people arrive at the last minute or sign up for stuff late.
So, this is my pet peeve. Based on my past experience, people are late and like to wait until the last minute. Sure, not everyone is like this, but enough are. I really don’t think it’s that unique, based on my experience. How about you? Have you experienced this with your ministry, or is everyone always on time? I think I’m going to start standing up for this. The next time someone says that this is “Gateway time” I’m going to boldly stand and say, “No. This isn’t Gateway time… it’s reality. People are late here just like they are at every other church in this country (and let me tell you, go down to a church in some other countries and they’ll give you some real examples of “late.”)!”
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I would respond but I’m on Kat time.
I think a lot of it is generational. Adults in my parents generation seemed to be early or on time for events, but young adults and younger seem to be “fashionably” late for events and sign up late for activities …their excuse is they need to check their calendars/schedules then they forget about signing up till the last minute possible.
WOW, I have two responses to this.
#1 I thought it was a cultural thing. As an African American, we have an “in house” statement that I can’t mention here related to black people and the whole time issue. It has always driven me crazy because I am one of the few African Americans I know that are sticklers for being on time. So my first response is excitement that it’s not just us!
#2 I have been told some of the same things at my church regarding the time issue. It’s almost like it’s just an acceptable norm. But should we accept it as CPs? I would love to hear your thoughts on that. In other words, do we not close down registration or shut down check in at a certain hour because it’s the “whatever church” way? Or do we stick to our guns and help people to adjust?
I would love to hear thoughts because I am dealing with this right now. In my situation, some parents arrive 30 minutes after we have started….
Gateway time that’s funny I always thought it was Mt. Zion Time. lol My latest strategy is to build stuff into the begining to make sure that if you are late you miss something. I think we as leaders feed this annoying peve in that when we are planning we often plan around their lateness. We condition them to believe that if they come late they won’t miss a thing.
If kids are late they miss out on the indoor playground, Wii time. (also if they are picked late by their parents they also miss out on the playground, Wii time.)
Good observations. Brenna, I think you are on to something. I do think that some of it is generational and Darlene, I don’t know that it’s always a racial culture thing either… maybe it just depends on where in the country you are. Sam, those are some good points. I think I’m going to write another post about this in a few days. In the past I’ve taken on the notion that I could “train” my parents or volunteers, but I don’t think that’s the way to go about it either. Perhaps it is more about setting the schedule and sticking with it… kind of like what Sam does. Hmmm. novel idea.