During these London Olympics it seems apt that we remember the 1972 Munich Olympics and the death of 11 Israeli athletes at the hands of terrorists. In this light, we can also cite how Israel too has a habit of improving whatever it touches. Take for example the agricultural innovations and the original idea of the Kibbutz which has not only fed the nation but provided astonishing exports. Israel exports provide 80% of Europe's oranges.
When travelling in Israel near any of Israel's borders on a Kibbutz, one will see modern tractors, and across the border there might be an ox plough. Israel too has worked hard with education, their top class Universities, technological transfers into the nation and then exported, and one only needs to read the list of Nobel Prizes – those who are Israeli men and women.
Manufacturing too has been improved upon by Israeli scientists to help road builders with the excessive day time temperatures of the middle east. Israel21c has revealed that the tried and tested use of old tyres in road base materials for highways has been given a new green friendly process.
This is of interest as this is a classic case of an existing by-product being re-jigged.
While the idea to reuse shredded rubber on roads came through a technology transfer meeting between Israel and America back in 2005, the results from the pilot trial on a highway section of Road 85 in the Galilee it's claimed will benefit Israeli developers. In a pilot trial, a 1.1 kilometre [0.68 mile] section of road was paved using an “experimental” mixture that included hundreds of recycled tires and a blend of asphalt, increasing the life of the pavement by one-third” (its believe, without compromising safety). www.israel21c.org
These are just a few examples of Israeli touches here and there of an existing product or system (manufacturing or farming), which produces a better result in every facet of the situation.
Parallel to church life
There is a parallel here for Church life. These illustrations stand good.
The idea of a touch here and there to improve a product is exactly what many of the growing Christian churches have done in recent years. The message has not changed, rather the presentation has.
These are some examples of the “touch here and there”:
The music has been brightened up;
Live music has been incorporated;
Singers out the front to lead the worship;
Announcements are put on the big screen
The preacher even walks around a bit,
Church mid week activities are given fresh new names
The list goes on and on …..
A touch here and there makes a huge difference as in the Olympics
If you're in a congregation that doesn't respond to change very well, why not offer suggestions of some low-key practical ideas that won't rock the boat but will nonetheless instil the philosophical concept that a touch here and there can make a ‘lovely’ difference for good.
One young person got permission to brighten up the old tried and true hymn books. This enterprising young person placed a bright fresh “folded cover” on each hymn book, the cover showed a lovely face of a young person in the congregation smiling and the words “Jesus loves me”!
The oldies loved it. Now, the next step is now a whole lot easier.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html