July 7, 2021
Every week or two, Beth and I will bring our miniature dachshunds over to the church to run around the massive backyard area. I have literally never seen animals look
happier! Because the property goes so far back, we don’t ask our volunteers to mow all the way back, and as a result, the natural grass has grown up to nearly chest level.
But there is a mowed path to the pond and it’s gorgeous and relaxing. (I really recommend you check it out yourself!) Moments like these humble me because I realize
how blessed we are as a church, and how blessed we are to have tools for ministry like our amazing property and building.
We have this building and land, not because we deserve it, but because of the people who have come before us—not just one or two generations, but going back 149 years. Before Blue Springs was even a city, the people of First United Methodist Church were growing in faith and serving this community! And our church today stands on their shoulders. Remembering this fact helps me feel simultaneously grateful and responsible.
I use that word “responsible,” because it can be tempting to think about church through the lens of “me.” You know what I mean: my preferences, my comfort, my territory, and my comfort zone. And in a world that’s changing faster and faster, sometimes in our anxiety and worry, we can find ourselves becoming even more “me” focused. Instead of looking at our church resources as tools for ministry to invite people to grow toward Christ, we can see these resources as tools to serve ourselves. It’s almost like buying a fancy pie as a housewarming gift for the new neighbors … and then eating it yourself when you’ve had a bad day (which is an example that is probably too close to home in my own life … ).
But God has a funny tendency of taking our “me” and making it a “we.” When it comes to a community of faith, we’re always learning how to focus less and less on “me” so we can focus on what Jesus asks of us. And this, friends, is probably the hardest part of being part of a church community! If you do it right, you benefit less. The more you follow Jesus, the less comfortable you’ll probably be. The more you focus on the people you love, the less you’ll focus on what you want. The more you let God move in your life, the farther you’ll be from the comfort zone you hold onto.
Sound really appealing, doesn’t it? (Ha!)
But the good news is, we’re standing on the shoulders of multiple generations of faithful Christians who made it more about Jesus than themselves. And they’ve entrusted us to do the same. And I think we’re up for the challenge. Grateful for you and for where God is bringing us!