Relationships. Church planting is all about relationships. Maybe traditional church should have been all about relationships, but it seemed like it was more about committee meetings and business meetings and administrative busy stuff that there was not a lot of time for relationships. I let the stuff of ministry keep me from finding time to really dig in deep into people's lives. Maybe my experience in church planting would make me a much better traditional pastor's wife now that I grasp that relationships are the key to growth in Christ.
Today I basked in relationships. I spent my day hanging out with tons of different people. Each one very unique in their personality and giftedness, and yet together we form the body of Christ. During set up, I get to hang out with the band - these are most definitely some of my favorite people. Playing worship music together creates a unique bond of friendship, and I can't help but enjoy hanging out with them.
Before and after services, I had the opportunity to visit with several people. Many of them were old friends, but many of them were brand new. I love to see and hear the excitement of first time visitors. I love to hear them say, "I always dreamed about a church like this, but did not believe one really existed." It is beautiful to hear their stories of how they ended up at The Crossroads and how God has led them on incredible journeys that made our paths intersect for worship together this morning.
After church we were invited over to visit and eat with some new friends. I love to make new friends, and I know I've said it before, but for me it holds a very special meaning of love and acceptance when people invite me into their home. I don't know why that is exactly, but it does. I guess maybe it's that universal feeling of wanting to be wanted, and needing to be needed (Oh wait, isn't that a song?) Or maybe it's that the past dies a slow painful death. Being the last chick picked in gym in school leaves me forever surprised that people would purposefully want to spend time with me. I guess being invited makes me feel valuable - wanted.
There's a lesson there. How many people are around me, waiting to be invited? Invited for a cup of coffee? Invited for a workout? Invited for movie and dinner? Invited to a concert? Invited to do a service project with me? Invited to come to church? Invited to get to know my Jesus? What if instead of assuming that if people wanted to be with me, they would initiate that contact - what if I assumed that I could make others feel valuable by inviting them into my life? What if we all lived life that way...... Asking instead of waiting to be asked, ministering instead of waiting to be ministered to, loving instead of waiting to be loved.
Well, that was a long rabbit chase. Circling back to services today at The Crossroads - yeah, it was good stuff. But my favorite part? Learning more what loving others really and truly looks like. Do I get it yet? Absolutely not. But am I learning? You bet!