Relationships are the people-glue that hold congregations together. In a happy, healthy church, the members open their lives and homes to amplify the church’s message of welcome. The longer you’ve been connected to Christ and the more fully his Word, power, and Spirit flow through you, the better you get at it. You don’t cling so tightly to your stuff but share it with a smile and “offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9).
The gospel message of a servant-Savior helps us become outwardly focused servants instead of self-absorbed customers. Visitors to our congregations will sense that in this place they will be helped, not hustled. As our world grows crueler and more selfish each year, genuine acts of kindness and friendship stand out and make our religious talk much more believable. Jesus loves it when we believe him that all our stuff is really his anyway. He loves it when people help people, and he loves to replenish the supplies of generous people so that they end up with more than where they started.
In spite of the popularity of social media, digital avatars, and virtual friends, there is no true substitute for a real, face-to-face friendship with someone who cares about your life. Do your neighbors know what the inside of your house looks like? Do you have the ability to be a people connector? Have you ever brought someone home from church?
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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