Pope Benedict XVI was in DC this week. His theme was Christ our Hope. And the DC news media gave extended time to a local priest to give the “play by play” of the Pope’s arrival at the Catholic embassy.  The news media let him fill in details about Catholic beliefs and practices, and even let him explain the desire for former Catholics and others to return to church, as many have.

For his part, the Pope spoke openly and forcefully about the need to maintain a regular relationship with the local church, for the individuals’ personal spiritual health. It was an open call to strengthen struggling Catholic churches.

During his visit, the Pope said a special Mass inside the new Washington Nationals’ stadium, with 46,000 attending. Part of the mass, you know , is the serving of communion. Catholics believe that taking the communion bread and wine is essential to maintianing spiritual closeness.

But what struck me as truly amazing was in the reporting about the Mass. NPR said that they provided communion to 46,000 people in 20 minutes. I’m not sure the exact logistics of that, but it meant a large number of priests participating, since the elements must be blessed by an ordained clergy.

Is your congregation a model of efficiency? Are you setting the stage where those in your regular and inactive congregation can become involved, and then used effectively when the time for their service comes?

People generally enjoy being part of an active, effective church, but shy away from one with busy work supporting ineffective or self-serving purposes. (see my InvolvingMore blog for more ideas on using volunteers.) But an active, involved volunteer force can both energize the participants and help the services move very smoothly.