Friday May 6 @ 6:00 pm
It’s time for those long summer evenings when burgers sizzle on the grill and kids run free on the grass. It’s time for playing bocci, horseshoes, and volleyball. We have a lovely venue for these things here at RCC, and we’re going to take advantage of it with our First Friday Cookouts. May 6 is the first one.
This is something you can invite friends to. We put money in the budget for just this purpose, so that we could reach out to neighbors and friends. So when you come, expect there will be newcomers. Remember to initiate conversations with them, and let them win at bocci. (Except, of course, if you’re on my team. Bocci is serious stuff).
Come to think of it, would you say you’re good at initiating conversations with new people? Some of us naturally key in to how a new person feels in a group setting. Probably because we’re still in recovery from middle school when we were scarred by the devastating awkwardness of being a nerd at age 13. So now we’re naturally sympathetic to newcomers.
Others of you, though, were not nerds, you were geeks. Do you know the difference? A nerd knows he’s awkward; a geek is spared such pain because, well, he’s oblivious to how awkward he is. Boy Geek and Girl Geek eventually grow into Mr. Geek and Ms. Geek who don’t reach out to newcomers because they’re still rather unaware.
As adults, Christian nerds gravitate toward cool churches with cool pastors and elders and band leaders that look like Bono. Unfortunately for you, neither I nor the elders are as cool as Bono. I’m a recovering nerd who happens to enjoy other adult nerds and geeks. Cool people I find boring. But I still evangelize them because, well, Jesus said to.
Obviously I’m being facetious. But even in a church as small as RCC there are people who don’t know the names of new people who have been coming to worship or small group for months. Thankfully, there are also others who naturally reach out and create opportunities to build a real fellowship.
Now that the warmer weather is here we’re starting our outreach ministry up. Some of you are gifted for evangelism and will join me in meeting strangers and inviting them to events like these cookouts. But most of you are called simply to hospitality. You create an environment that newcomers want to be in by being friendly, providing food, and driving students to events.
There’s something I’d like all of us to attend, though: Prayer Meeting on Wednesday April 27 at 6:30. Because even if you’re not involved in outreach directly, you help create a temperature in the church. Prayer opens our hearts to Jesus’ desire to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19) and also opens our hearts to receive people who are considering a life with Jesus. I’m not kidding, a prayer meeting really does warm up the temperature of our community. I hope you’ll join in.