He has told you, 0 mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Three of us from the congregation participated in the Justice Conference that was held October 21-22. One of the first questions they asked us was how many people we know in our congregation. I started counting up all the people I had met here, and even spent some time with, but it became very clear that I really don't "know" most of you. How do you spend your days? What is important to you? What do you love to do? I suspect that is true for many in our congregation as well. We have the circle that we relate to most of the time, but there are likely many people that we only know by name and have only a minimal understanding of who they really are. The point of the conference was that in order to plan our ministries and develop our areas of service, it is essential to know the interests and passions of those in our congregation.
One of our speakers, Rachel Westenberg, taught us the tool of"One on One Relationship Building." I urge each of you to try it out. The purpose is to establish a relationship with someone and understand what is important to this person. So pick someone you would like to get to know better. Ask if you could meet with them for 30-45 minutes and set a place to meet. When you get together, let the other person do 70% of the talking. The focus should be that person, not you. Ask questions that need more of an answer than simply "yes" or "no". And LISTEN. Don't judge, argue or give advice. Your priority is to get to know the person, their interests, passions, concerns, and hopes. And respect each other that this conversation is confidential.
Getting to know each other better makes us more sensitive to the needs of other persons, as well as their gifts. It also makes the other person feel more welcomed and a part of our congregation. This welcoming is a task for each of us.
Building relationships is also a tool for when we are in
ministry-reaching out to those wanting to take music lessons and those who need an assist with getting their laundry done. It is a way that we begin to see below the surface of a person-who they really are and not just the labels they have been placed on them. It is a way to begin to see how God is working in their lives. Believe me, we will be blessed!
- Pastor Judy