13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet. 14 You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.
One key long-term goal for Resurrection is to “connect new and younger people… while effectively reaching non-religious people”* (cf. Deuteronomy 6:4-7). Jesus described his followers as “salt” and “light” for the world. Salt both preserves food and enhances its flavor. Light pierces the darkness, giving clear sight to those who have missed God’s path and revealing all the beauty of God’s world. God still calls the church—calls all of us—to be salt and light for our world.
Lord God, someone said that you called me to be “the salt” of the earth, not “the vinegar.” Keep me growing into a person who adds light and flavor to life wherever I go. Amen.
* Quoted from The Church of the Resurrection’s “Closing the Gap” goals. Click here to view the web site listing the church’s entire vision and goals between now and 2030.
My son AJ and his fiance Kristin were visiting from Colorado last weekend. About a year ago they bought their first house together and have been working to update it, inside and out, frequently spending time in their yard gardening or working on their landscaping. They have met several of their neighbors, including a pastor who lives next door. AJ and Kristin are pretty outgoing people and hoped to expand their circle of friends to include some of their new neighbors. While they got to know the older couple who lived on the other side of them, AJ mentioned to me that the pastor never even acknowledges them when he sees them out in the yard. The pastor sometimes has young people over to hang out on the deck and enjoy adult beverages so it makes me sad that someone who apparently enjoys this age group has not made any effort to connect with AJ and Kristin.
Both of my sons grew up regularly attending church and Sunday School Even after AJ went away to college he always wanted to know how he could plug in missionally when he was home on break, and so he would spend time delivering donations to clothing pantries, serving meals, painting schools and helping distribute books. Now that he's an adult he continues to look for ways to help others and has the ability to take on more impactful projects. Last spring AJ's company sponsored an employee to manage an Engineers Without Borders solar panel installation in a small village in El Salvador. Like many millennials, AJ and Kristin are passionate about using their time and gifts to make a difference. So if their neighbor spent a few minutes getting to know them I bet their would be ways that AJ and Kristin could be welcomed into the life of the church through meaningful outreach activities.
I love that Resurrection makes it so easy for people of any age to find a way to get involved. Serve Saturday remains one of the easiest ways to help others in the community. The recent rummage sale probably attracted many bargain shoppers who may not have otherwise known anything about the church. I volunteered a few hours to help with setting up for the sale and earned several tickets that allowed early entrance on Thursday. I knew my neighbor likes to attend garage sales, so I gave the five tickets to her and she shared some with another friend and the result was several people who had never stepped foot in the church before had the opportunity to do so in a non-threatening way and learn a little more about Women's Ministry programs and outreach activities. That neighbor has since asked me to let her know when there are volunteer opportunities that her kids could help with.
Did you know there are still openings for older kids and adults to help with sorting the school uniforms and getting them ready for delivery to the schools? While it's sometimes easier to work around busy schedules in the summer to take part in serving opportunities, in just a few weeks we will resume Wednesday afternoons Backpacks for Hunger fills at the church--another great way for older elementary youth, teens and corporate groups to serve together in a meaningful way and get a glimpse of what it means to be God's hands and feet in the community.
Not every opportunity is going to be right for every person. But just taking the time to get to know the people whose paths regularly cross ours could give you some insights on how you can encourage someone new to the church to come and see the possibilities for meaningful Christian connection and discovering God's plans for their life.
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