Almost every Sunday, I encourage New Lifers to find someone they have never met and introduce themselves. It is probably the most important thing we do as a church family besides the Sacraments and the Scriptures. A few Sundays ago, a New Lifer turned around and met a man for the first time and probably saved his life.
This man had planned to take his own life by driving off a cliff later in the day, but decided to come to New Life beforehand to give God one more chance. When the New Lifer met him at the end of the gathering, he was obviously distraught. Instead of ignoring the man’s pain, the New Lifer prayed with him and introduced him to one of our pastors who took him to an office and met with him for about 90 minutes.
He was a totally different person after that time and assured us he was content to live now and would resume seeing his therapist, which he did, because we checked. All of this, because a New Lifer turned and said hello. Sometimes ministry to people is so simple – look at them, listen to them and care about their stories.
Several times in Paul’s letters to the churches, he encouraged them to greet one another with a holy kiss. The kissing part does not go over so well in Colorado, but the greeting part sure does. If church is an assembly of believers who belong to the same family, then sincere greetings should be a big part of the family gatherings every week. If not, we will become the cold “sit, listen and leave” church.
Not every handshake and introduction will save a life, but every close friend I have today started with one of us introducing ourselves and asking some questions. For some, this is super scary, for others it is not. No matter the nervousness, it is a powerful part of the local church becoming a close family and is proof to a distraught world that there is a place for them in God’s healing home.
December 27, 2011 at 8:23 am
Pastor Brady you encouraged us to pray together earlier this month during communion. We turned and prayed with a young family, Nathan and Angela and their kids. When we asked what we could pray for we could see their eyes collectively mist over as they asked us to pray for their little boy. He was newly diagnosed with childhood diabetes and living with blood tests, insulin shots and all the long range ramifications of that. We were able to share that our daughter, now 31, was diagnosed when she was just 3! By the amazing power of an awesome God she is completely healthy, no blindness, kidney failure or any of the common complications. This week at the Christmas Eve surface they were able to meet her and see first hand the blessing of the Lord. We will never again take lightly your encouragement to pray together.
Love doing life with you Brady!
December 27, 2011 at 9:53 am
Thanks for the reminder of how powerful a sincere interest in someone can be. We really don’t know the impact of a simple hello and a true interest in the well-being of another person.
Proud to tell people you are my pastor,
December 27, 2011 at 12:48 pm
Love this, Brady. Additionally, without sensitive, loving people throughout the lobby, the walk from the parking lot to the Living Room can be long and lonely. I’d rather BE alone than FEEL alone.
December 29, 2011 at 8:50 am
Wow! Thanks for sharing Brady. It is amazing how a kind word and hello does mean so much. A lot of times, its the small things. 🙂