When I ministered with the Cooperative in middle Texas, where I was called to seven different churches, my weekends were busy! I would lead worship in one church on Saturday evenings, then Sunday morning go to another church for 8 a.m. worship and then get in my car to drive to another church for the 10:30 a.m. worship. Sometimes I couldn’t even take my robe off, I was that tight on time. I didn’t get to know people very well when I was rushing around.
I love talking with people after church. I’m not that good at talking before church because my mind is on all that I need to remember for worship, but after worship, that is important time. It’s often at that time that I find out about a new health concern, a new grandbaby, a good joke, or just a good book that people are talking about. It is in that time that I hear what part of the sermon worked or didn’t. Often, it is at that point right after worship when people are filled with ideas or thinking of the things that we left out.
It’s about the stuff of community. Hope is a great community (that means more than just that you all talk really well) and I love it! Part of being church is the blessing that we receive because we sing, pray and learn about Jesus – together. It’s hard to believe – alone.
I think that is one reason that Jesus told us that the greatest commandment included “loving your neighbor.” I believe that God created us creative enough that we can love our next-door neighbor and the one across the world.
As all the fall programming starts up, keep talking. Make friends, new and old. Reach out. Open your heart and mind. You might just see Jesus.