I spent this past weekend in Arizona. A trip that had first been planned for one thing turned out to serve another. I spent Sunday at Grace Fellowship Church, a dear group of friends that financially contributes to our work in Las Vegas every month. We are so thankful for their generous spirit. Saturday turned out to be a rest and retreat day. I played golf in the morning and spent the afternoon in prayer and reflection. I can't remember the last time I took half a day for the express purpose of sitting before God for the purpose of personal worship and seeking clarity about the things of life. It was good for me. I really needed that.
Part of the time was used in the reading of Andi Ashworth's book Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring. She says many things that are helpful. In her summary paragraphs of a chapter entitled "Against the Flow" she says the following:
"In a world that so often values speed, efficiency, and change over continuity
and relationship, we are challenged on a daily basis to consider what matters
most. God invites us to resist the tangled webs of busyness that imprison us and
make it impossible to respond in love to the people around us. If we want our
lives to reflect the truth that people matter, we must live intentionally toward
that end. If we really believe that people are important and that caring for
each other is at the heart of our call to follow Jesus, we must thoughtfully and
intentionally offer people something more."
What she says is true for me on a personal level, but I noted that it is also true for the church at large. As a church we can become so "busy" with programmed ministry activities and gatherings that we may end up not having time to reflect the truth that the people in our city matter. I haven't thought about this subject in this way before, but more reflection is due the issue as we think about ministry design at City-Wide Redeemer going forward.
By the way, I heartily recommend Ashworth's book to all. It's a game changer!