You aren‚Äôt as relational as you think you are!
A team of us went to a disciple-making conference back in October. Frankly, we were prepared. We had read all the materials, we were “talkin’ the talk,” we were committed to disciple-making as our way forward as a congregation. So, one morning, our co-facilitator said, “We’ve decided to throw away the script. You guys understand the material. We sense that there is something else you need to focus on. Here it is: You are not as relational as you think you are.”
Frankly, I was ticked off. As I looked around that circle, there were elders and staff members whom I consider my friends. We have talked about all kinds of things in our life. I thought the guy was full of it!
But the more we explored, the more I realized that there was something to what he said. We were friends, yes. But we were so focused on our work…on doing our ministry… that we often skipped right over what it meant to be in genuine relationship with each other. We didn’t know each other as well as we thought we did… and we didn’t have the time or the inclination to do anything about it.
That one statement has transformed our life as a leadership team. We are taking more time to really listen to each other. Pausing in the hallway to talk. Being sensitive to facial expressions that we could never see if we had our faces in our computers.
This has also changed our approach to you…our congregation. We are intentionally reaching out by phone and face to face…taking more time to really listen to and love our flock, “one sheep at a time.” It has been amazing…as we have taken the time to just talk to people we haven’t seen for a while…amazing how even the smallest expression of love and compassion restores broken relationships and heals hurt feelings.
This week, we are going to discover in our 90 Day Challenge the Jesus made disciples by being with people. Sounds almost too simple, doesn’t it? But think of the way YOU are with people that matter most to you. Are you really present… or are they something to be checked off of your list?
Maybe you aren’t as relational as you think you are, either!
P.S. I just learned that my predecessor here at Chapel Hill, Dr. Frank Burgess, has died. His service will be held at 1:00pm on February 6 at Bellevue Presbyterian Church… the church that Frank planted, We are the heirs of Frank’s faithful ministry among us. Please keep his loved ones in your prayers.