Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Glass House / Help Us Get to Know You

This is the second post in "The Glass House" series. Click here if you missed the last post.

Today I want to talk about how you can help us get to know you. We have been serving in our new church for six months now, so being new, I feel like I have a nice, fresh perspective on the concept of getting to know church members.

1- We DO want to get to know you.
Please know that we have a seemingly unquenchable desire to get to know you!
In order for ministers to follow the Lord's will in ministry, many times God moves us away from our family. With our last church, we were fortunate to live pretty close to both sides of our family, but with this last move, our families are hours away. Family near, or not, our heart's desire is to know you as family & "do life" with you. But especially with our family away, there is even more of a need for us to know you.

2- We pray for relationships with you. 
We came from a church situation where we "did life" with our church family for 8 years. When we arrived in Petal, I was so hungry to already have those kinds of relationships. I really wanted to skip the "getting to know you" part of things. By the third week here, we prayed for God to give us those great friends to "do life" with. Y'all, it's been so fun watching God answer that prayer. He started immediately & He hasn't stopped.

3- One sure-fire way that helps us get to know you better is for you to invite us out or over!
This doesn't mean that we expect you to pay when we go. (I'm always excited for an excuse no to cook, or to save that cooked meal for the next day!) Also, just a forewarning: you will be eating with a 1 & 4 year old. It can get exciting!
Some people assume that the preacher & his family are so busy, there's no way they'll have time to do something. While we can get busy, especially during the holidays, it doesn't hurt to ask! We need to know either: in advance, so that we can try to plan around things, or sometimes it works out to ask last minute! Both have worked lately.

4- If we aren't able to get together the first couple of times b/c of previous engagements or whatever it may be, please don't give up! We do want to spend time with you! We hate having to decline an invitation.

5- If our paths don't cross often, or you haven't made an effort to be known...I probably don't know you.
It makes me nervous to admit that, but I'm just being real. I feel like I am pretty good at learning names for the most part. (As for the Hubs'...bless his heart, he really tries!) But when I have 800+ names & faces to learn, I promise you I'm not going to be able to memorize the church directory. In all honesty, the people/names I learned first were the people who cleaned our new house before we moved in, the ones that fed us for weeks after moving here, the ones who sent a card for some reason, the ones who sent me a friend request on Facebook, the ones who invited us places, the ones who made an effort to talk to me frequently, & simply, the ones who introduced themselves to me the first 10 times I was around them.
I am NOT saying, "serve us" or  do something for us, but I am saying-send me a Facebook message, or catch me in the hall & remind me of your name!

6- Please show us a little grace. 
If you come up to me (& this is the only time you've ever spoken to me) & you ask me if I know your name yet-I will probably stutter...or make up a random name. This is real life, friends. I wish I was making this up... 
To put this into perspective, if you don't know which of my boys is Jax & which is John, I probably don't know your name out of a church full of people. 

7- We are normal people.
We are sinners saved by grace. Don't be intimidated or feel as if you have to behave a certain way when you're with us. 

8- Our ministry has only just begun here. Give us time & experience with you. The Lord has bonded us & united us as family.

When we first moved to Petal, I was reading a ministry book & there was a section about friends. (I think I read it our 3rd week here-the same week I prayed for friends.) 
It said that there are 3 kinds of people I will encounter in the ministry:
1-People who DON'T want to be my friend b/c I'm the Preacher's wife
2-People who WANT to be my friend b/c I'm the Preacher's wife
& finally, the way I want it to be:
3-People who are my friend REGARDLESS of me being the Preacher's wife. They would be my friend no matter what.

I'm not sure that I can limit people to just those 3 criteria, but I love that I have always loved & been loved by "number 3 people." I know the Lord has filled my life with blessings, but I am so thankful to say that I have always found most of my precious friends in the church. There is nothing like a wonderful relationship based upon the Lord. That's why "doing life" with you all is so important to us.

Just for funsies, I want to give a quick shout-out to some of the many precious people who have stepped up to do life with us:
-Our Search Committee
-Search Committee's family who helped so much in our transition/move
-PHBC Staff-especially the wives/ladies ;)
-Prayer Partners
-Those who started a Facebook & texting relationship with me before we were even voted in as Pastor
-The Introverts who stepped out of their comfort zone to invite me to do things
-My SS class
-My Bunco Group
-Beach Retreat Friends
-Sweet Families that love to keep my boys & love them like their own
-Women's Ministry Friends
-The Amazing Altos ;) & all of the choir
-Friends who organized fun outings & touring the town
-The businessmen/church family who went out of their way to get us here & make us comfortable

Agh!!! I love that I can say that there are SO many! I don't want to leave anyone out!! So thankful for anointed relationships! 

Praise God for koinonia!!

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