How do you invest in others?
This question is on my mind right now, as I have been spending some time preparing a brief lecture for a group of students at Tyndale Seminary that I will present next Wednesday evening. The topic is “clergy self-care”, about which I have a fair bit of experience, both positive and negative. I look forward to sharing my experience and insights with these people from varying backgrounds who will be out in the field as pastors themselves before too long. I look forward to helping them learn from my mistakes! Sharing what I’ve learned along the journey of twenty-plus years of ministry is a great way to invest in others.
I seek to do the same with the good people of St. Paul’s, Nobleton each Sunday, and through the week, in every aspect of my ministry. Whether it’s a message or a prayer during worship, a chat at Tim’s, the post office or the study, or even at a meeting – my goal is to invest in people so that their walk with the Lord may be enriched somehow.
So how do you invest in others? One way you can do that is through a simple invitation to worship. A few times a year, the Outreach Team at St. Paul’s does its best to make that easier for our gang by sending mailers out to the community. (One side of this Easter’s postcard, thanks to lifechurch.tv, is pictured.)
What we’re sending out isn’t so much an invitation to come to church at Easter, though the timing of it is quite intentional that way: I find that beginning a new series – one that should be of interest to the community – on a ‘major’ Sunday like Easter not only attracts attention for Easter itself, but also for the whole series. This year’s Easter season series is on marriage – “Take A Vow”. (If you’re wondering how I’m going to tie a message on marriage to the resurrection of Jesus, well, you’ll have to show up to find out!) Rest assured that this series is not just for married people. It’s for everybody, including those who have never been married, were married and aren’t anymore, and everybody else. There will be a challenge and a word of encouragement for all people in this series (even if your marriage wasn’t or isn’t all you’d hoped it would be.)
I hope you’ll find this mailer to serve as good ‘support’ for you as you invite your friends to worship at St. Paul’s for Easter or any other Sunday. It will be distributed to all households in Nobleton, the rural routes north of town, and some of the homes in Schomberg. If you invite a friend who receives it, each will reinforce the other and the possibility of your friend attending will be greater.
If you find it difficult to invite a friend to church, ask God to give you the courage and the strength to do it, and see it as an investment in eternity for your friend. Many people have found their lives changed through one simple invitation to worship. I know you can do it!