My #1 job responsibility as a new church starting pastor is to talk to people.
Everywhere I go… and in everything I do… I talk to people. I meet them, ask questions, listen to stories… and tell stories about what Barnegat Anew is doing in town.
It’s hard to just go out and talk to people. We live in a culture in which the only time people just come out and talk to you is when… they want something. Either they are sales people or weirdo’s or some other kind of person we would rather NOT talk to. So, you can imagine how hard it is to just say ‘hi’… when so many folks really don’t want someone appoaching them unnanounced.
In The Gospel of John (4:23) Jesus strikes up a conversation with a women drawing water at a well. She wasn’t someone who would have known how to do ‘the church thing’. Further, she could have easily been ‘put off’ by Jesus’ unannounced approach to speak with her. But, instead of thowing up a block… she asked a question: what does it mean to ‘worship’ God… do you have to do it in a particular place and time and way… or is it a free expression (ok… this is my loose translation of the preceeding conversation found in John 4). He says:
…the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship God in spirit and truth, for God seeks such as these to worship him.
As I make my way around Barnegat talking about our new church, I hope I can convey the same message: it’s not about traditions, denominations, childhood beliefs, or blind faith… it is about spirit and truth. It is about saying ‘YES’ to the greatest adventure of our lives… engaging God in our everyday life and our everyday way… no matter if it squares with what traditions say.
My #1 job responsibility as a new church staritng pastor is to talk to people about faith in God, and Barnegat Anew.