Yesterday I attended the Ajax Business Network for a seminar called “From Obstacles to Opportunities”. Although the topic and speaker interested me, I wanted to connect with people outside of crossroads. There are so many neat people out there, people outside of our ‘church’ communities. For years I’ve felt locked into ‘church’, so busy with programs and meetings and pastoral duties that I had no time to meet these neat people. Now I want to change that. I was not disappointed!
I met Barrie, and I was encouraged and inspired by what he shared (it was cool that he like me, was from Hamilton, and an alumni of “Tiny Talent Time”). It was cool to hear how the Spirit of God is directing his heart to see the “grace of God” in his life.
I met Anne, who shared a cool story with me about a pastor from Cobourg, ON, who broke the world’s record (again) by pulling a truck, loaded with cargo with a total weight of 126,200 pounds, 100 feet up 67th Street in New York City on Live with Regis & Kelly (we laughed as we reflected on faith moving mountains). She also shared her past experience with church growing up, how she stopped going for a variety of reasons, and, yes maybe would like to go again.
I met Nadira, a financial consultant who specializes in helping people plan for debt freedom! We both agreed that there are a lot of people out there who are in bondage to debt, and in desperate need of help and counsel. Those people often come to church, looking for assistance or guidance. Are we able to help, or maybe we should cooperate with people like Nadira… I took her number.
And I met “Carol” (not sure if this was her name, she did not share it quickly, and I respect that). She seemed a but nervous, and if I sensed it right, seemed to have gone through many obstacles herself, and was getting a fragile grip on her life and family. Her heart was especially for her children, which I can appreciate. I let her know that as a pastor I share her concern for the children. I also did not pressure her with conversation, just being friendly and positive.
Where is all of this going? Who knows… God does. Maybe I will meet them again, maybe not. Its not about growing the church or getting converts, its getting to know people – God’s people – and learning how He is at work in and through all of us.
Yes, we all need Jesus. And He is on that. He is doing a great job communicating to the hearts of all people, whether in the church or out of it. As I focus more on those out of the church, I want to join Him in graciously inviting them into His love and mercy.