Mark Fairweather Tall
Games Makers - How about some more 'Church Makers'?
The last couple of weeks have been incredibly exciting as the eyes of the world have been on London and the Olympic Games. Extraordinary athletic achievement has been witnessed. Particularly eye catching has been the setting of new world records and multiple-gold medal winners. For Team GB the success has been amazing and lifted the spirits of a nation. In particular Saturday 4th August will live long in the memory as Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all won gold medals in an astonishing hour.
We got to experience the atmosphere of the Olympic Stadium and the Park on Thursday. It was a great day. Sitting in the stadium and hearing the roar of the 80000 crowd reach a crescendo whenever any member of Team GB was taking part was amazing. Particularly exciting was the 4x400 metres relay with falls, disqualifications and reinstatements.
However, one of the things that will last longest in my memory is the Games Makers – the 70000 volunteers who have answered countless questions, directed the lost, and generally helped in the smooth running of such a complex event. It isn’t just what they were doing that was impressive but the way that they did it. Their humour, infectious enthusiasm and desire that your day was an exciting, never to be forgotten experience, was clearly communicated. The walk from Stratford Station, through the shopping centre and into the Olympic Park was enhanced by the many dressed in London 2012-emblazoned chinos, a purple and red t-shirt, regulation bag, hat, jacket, brolly and trainers – the Games Makers. Wide smiles, questions about whether we were excited, exhortations to have a wonderful day and even chanting and impromptu dancing added so much to the experience of the day. It shows what a difference people can make in setting an atmosphere: yet it was so simple – smile, be friendly, be excited and care that others are having a good time.
So simple, so valuable and so appreciated. It reminds me how we are people who contribute to the atmosphere of a place – in our homes, amongst our neighbours, in the work-place and in church. It made me ponder: I wonder whether people visiting our churches would meet members there who are all as friendly, excited and caring as the Games Makers? I wonder whether those of us in church set out with this aim Sunday by Sunday? Do we need more ‘Church Makers’ in our churches? And if so, could you be one of them? It doesn’t have to be hard – simply smile, be friendly, care about others and be excited that you are loved by Almighty God.