There’s comfort in knowing that things are going to be the way you expect them, assurance in familiar things.
So it was with some nervousness that we planned to do things a little differently this past Sunday; instead of rows there were chairs and tables, instead of a preach from the platform a devotional talk with a roving Pastor, instead of mostly front-led programme there was interaction and story sharing together, instead of sitting nearby mostly the same people there was opportunity to meet new people.
How would people respond? How would first time visitors engage? What about the health & safety of tables and chairs? (It’s OK we checked with Mary) What if no-one talked to each other? How would it affect the way people worshipped in song? All of these and many more questions were bubbling away in the back of our minds…but we had no choice! We had to find a way to make it happen. You can’t love one another from a distance.
This wasn’t a good idea as part of our ‘LoveOneAnother’ series but very much a God idea. It was a dream to see the building filled with the family of God connecting, interacting, fellowshipping together on a Sunday morning – to make space and time for this to happen in an intentional way when most of Elim Life Church come together. It was a nudge from the Sprit that as we grow by the grace of God we must grow in depth in our relationship with God and with one another. It was a ‘wake-me-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night’ with 1 John 3 & 4 to teach on loving one another because He first loved us.
*The response was overwhelmingly positive, from newcomers to longstanding members, people loved to connect (and eat pastries). There was a real buzz about the place and a real freedom as we connected with God and each other.
Yet even if the response had been different, we would still have done it.
You see, there is nothing quite like watching what God does as you obey Him. God set this new series into motion. God reminded us of the call to be a community of believers that love one another out of our love from God. The conversations that flowed freely, the welcome people experienced, the new friendships that were started, the laughter that was shared and the stories that were told blessed us as a leadership but most definitely blessed God. We are making space to be the church, to be family, to live out the command of Jesus to love one another (John 13:35). You can’t love one another from a distance.
So go Be the Church!
Let your love and the love of God be seen in word and deed that we may continue to show the world we are His disciples!
*A huge thanks to all those who helped with the logistics and hosting.