Our focus this week in the 1 more friend-Share series is to be “in the picture” in our neighbors’ lives, remaining aware of what their greatest needs are. When we’re out and about in our neighborhoods, busy at our workplaces, and involved with our friends, it can feel like a lot to manage, especially when we also feel called to spend quality time at home, to help out at church, and to volunteer in our community. If you’re like me, you’ve experienced ups and downs during the journey of intentionally reaching out to others, sometimes telling yourself you just don’t have time to do it all, or that adding one more thing just won’t work: “I can’t just drop everyday life and be serving all the time! I’m not Mother Teresa!” Today I want to challenge you to let go of that excuse and self-accusation, because here’s the thing: it’s only adding one more thing if you view mission as something separate from life. What if we viewed every element of our lives as mission?
Of course living life as mission will always have its challenges, but serving others in our neighborhoods and communities as well as serving at church are important callings for us to recognize, since we never know where God will show up! When we serve only during church functions, we risk letting ourselves off the hook when it comes to sharing the Gospel in our other circles of influence. On the other hand, if we hang out exclusively in our own professional and social groups, we can keep ourselves (over)scheduled to the extent that we feel we don’t have time to serve in God’s house and in our community.
One way you can share, and support the mission, is by filling open service spots at church whenever you can. Think about the last time you attended worship: I bet you saw someone handing out bulletins, video recording the sermon, or helping with communion. And last time you ate a meal at church, you probably noticed some people serving food and drinks and keeping things clean. What about in your community: have you ever gone to a library or senior center, or enjoyed a playground or other park activities with your kids? All of these are areas where you could make an impact by serving! So I want to hear from you: when and where are you planning to share your time next?