Yesterday I gave blood. That would be June 27, 2013. No, we are not days or weeks ahead at writing posts here at 200churches. The next podcast has not been recorded yet. Jonny is in Chicago this week on a youth missions trip. We are in full time ministry mode in our own 200church. We are both taking advanced degree courses at Bethel Seminary. We take life-long learning seriously. It will just be nice when that learning does not have to be connected to tuition costs!
So, yesterday I gave blood. Here are four cool ministry lessons that jumped out at me:
Know your people.
When we give blood, the blood people think it’s really important to identify where their blood comes from. They want to connect the blood with the giver. So, they ask you your name and birth-date a dozen times. When I passed out on the floor after seeing the needle go into me, the first thing I remember hearing when coming to was “Name and date of birth?” Okay, not really, but you get the point.
They take all manner of information from you because they want a safe blood supply. The blood people know your name! When our people come to church, do we have a process to know their name, and all manner of other information about them? People want to be known, because to be known is to be cared for. To be known is to have worth. It is to be important… to someone. I want to make as much an effort to know my people as the blood people make to know me.
Do you have a process in place to get to know people this weekend? In your 200church, you may have only one new person in your church every month. They might come this weekend! Do you already know your process to get to know them, to “assimilate” them into your church? If you don’t do it with one, you won’t do it with five, or ten, or fifty. Know your people.
Give yourself away.
When we go to see the blood people, we are giving a part of our very selves to them. They don’t exactly take that proverbial pound of flesh, but worse, they take a pound of blood! And as us preacher types know, the life is in the blood, right?
I want to give as much of myself away to my church family as I give to the blood people. Jesus did. Paul did. Peter did. I want to as well. It’s hard because it goes against the grain of our selfish nature and culture, but it’s worth doing. In fact, it’s the only way to do ministry.
How will you “give yourself” to your people this weekend? Time? Attention? Care? Listening? These are all ways to give ourselves away. Staying after the service for as long as people need is one way. Listening to them is another. I mean really listening with eye contact and an open heart. Caring for them by offering to help, to drive them somewhere, to give them some money, to visit, to share wisdom – these all reveal our genuine love for them. Give yourself away.
Tomorrow, on Saturday, I will share the last two lessons I learned.
Yesterday I gave blood…
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