Thursday, October 02, 2008

Meet Them There

Last Saturday at our council retreat Pastor Dave started us off with a devotion based on Acts 1. The biblical story is a recounting of Jesus' last moments on earth. There in his final words we hear Jesus say, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." That is our charge as well, to be witnesses to the ends of the earth.

So how do we go about that? Well, I guess there isn't really just one way. However, I do suspect the way that we've tended to do it is not the way. I've witnessed many a Lutheran church who has viewed their call to be witnesses to all the earth as a call to put a sign in their front lawn. We have reacted the way the disciples did on that same day. We stare up at heaven and talk about about wonderfully blessed we have been by God, and hope that others might wander by and notice us... and on a rare occasion maybe even join us. If you keep reading the story you will see a couple of angels show up and ask, "What are you doing just standing around?"

I think we need to take this call to go seriously. You see, to be witnesses we need to go and meet people where they are at so we can share our story. We can't just sit around and hope people show up. One of the beauties in going and meeting people where they are it is that you begin to build relationships with people. It is in the midst of relationships, I believe, that ministry happens. When we build relationships we share our story and in doing that we are also sharing God's story.

Here at Christ Lutheran the Youth Committee has caught a vision of this very notion. In their call to do ministry with youth they have come to realize they need to build relationships and meet them where they are at. They have also come to realize that this is not a call just for them, but a call for all of us. Consequently, in the coming weeks and months they will be highlighting some of the activities that our youth are involved in around the community.

You are invited to go and meet our youth where they are at. If you are inclined to go to a football, volleyball, or soccer game you should go. We then invite you to talk to parents, congratulate the athletes and meet them where they are at. If you are inclined to attend a play or choir concert, go and connect with people while you are there. Perhaps you're not inclined to go to these school events, but you do have an evening free and are looking for something to do, why not go to a basketball game and build relationships instead of channel surfing or shopping on e-bay?

You are called to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. So go, and meet them there.

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