My wife and I are back at Carmel Baptist after a short stint away from there. No fault of the church. We were trying something closer to home. But now we’re there and Lord willing next week we’re going to start the effort of making friends (i.e. community). The pastor, Alex Kennedy, is a breath of fresh air. The man takes the Word of God each week and preaches what is there. This week, as he has been working through Matthew, he settled in on 10:5-15. This is a turning point in the ministry of Jesus, and His work with the disciples. They’ve been trained and taught. Now it’s time to set them to action. Jesus goes on to explain to them how they are to go.
Some of the highlights of the sermon were these points: Know who your team is around you. Know whom you’re called to and seek clarity on that point. Pray for favor as you go out. Don’t water down the gospel and watch out for legalism – just present it the way Jesus did because if our case, it’s not about the messenger, it’s about the message. Ministry is meant to happen in community – guys, make sure you’ve got Godly men around you to hold you accountable. Be dependent on the Spirit. Multiply yourself.
I admit that I’m hesitant to start this process of meeting new church family and making friends and building relationships. It takes time. And lately, Gina and I have been fighting hard for our time together. It’s unreal how quickly a week can fill up with so many responsibilities and meetings and chores, after which we find ourselves exhausted. I can’t imagine what this will be like when we have kids. But this element of our walk with Christ is so crucial. He designed us for community. The whole point of everything going on down here is to build a Body of believers. So we’ve got to figure out how to prioritize this.
I’m going even further in a couple of weeks and am attending a men’s breakfast there. I don’t know how many guys will be there, and I don’t know what the setting will be like. What I do know is that I won’t know a soul there. Time to break out that 10th grade torture, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” But seriously, it has to happen. Recently I got an email update from my last church. It had an announcement of this year’s men’s retreat. That was perhaps my favorite event of each year. That time with my brothers out in God’s creation, pursuing our Savior together, and becoming more godly men together… that was rich. And I miss it. I miss the men there who were deep thinkers. I miss the family I had grown to know and love there. And I know that if God truly has called Gina and I to this new Body, that He will provide those friendships for us.
Jesus said go. He said get a team together. So here’s to meeting the new team…