My friend and colleague, The Rev. Steve Pankey (see his blog at Draughting Theology ) has put up a request for elevator pitches for the Episcopal Church. In other words, in 250 words or less, what would you tell a person, say, in an elevator, was the reason you go to the Episcopal Church and why they should too.
I hate elevator pitches…
I hate ’em because once I hear the challenge I can’t stop thinking about it until I have one. And, of course, mine has to be perfect, and compelling, and life transforming for the person hearing it, whoever that person is.
So, thanks Steve. Now I will feel inadequate until I have perfection in a paragraph. I’m doomed.
I guess, for me, what I really need in an elevator pitch is something I would actually use. It’s not a hypothetical for me. And, if I’m stuck in an elevator with someone I’d really rather they didn’t think I was a nutjob, because, let’s face it, we care what strangers think. That sort of defines us. Unless we’re sociopaths, and that is a whole other post.
Sociopathy aside, I need my elevator pitch to be simple.
“We’ve got really good coffee.”
That works, but it depends on who’s got 8th Sacrament duty that day.
“The parishioners are super nice.”
Again, that depends on who’s got 8th Sacrament duty that day.
“We’ve got cool tshirts that talk about not handling snakes.”
Yeah, but now we’re back to the staring at the numbers above the elevator doors thing.
“Oh yeah, and Jesus.”
Wait, is Jesus an after-thought? Better start with Jesus.
Yeah, that scared ’em and if it didn’t, now I should be scared.
“Sorry for the outburst, but why am I an Episcopalian? Because it’s been my home all my life. And it’s filled with all sorts of people that are completely different, and some agree and some don’t and somehow that’s all okay. We’re not perfect and most of us don’t claim to be. We’re traditional. We have an ancient heritage, and yet we can still be fresh and meaningful, even today. And at the center of it all is this man Jesus who we strive to be like. We fail. A lot. But still we keep working at it. At our best, we’re awesome. And at our worst, we’re no worse than others. And still we keep at it. I guarantee, somewhere in the Episcopal Church, you can find a home. The Episcopal Church welcomes you.”
I think I’ve got some more words, but you know, brevity is mo’ betta’. It’s not perfection in a paragraph, but I’d actually say it. And, I think that is what matters to me.