Last weekend, I was unable to fully complete task 15 because I was out of town to teach a class. As reminder, we were tasked to:
The second part is much more clear-cut: Go to church. While you are there, we’d like you to do two specific things:
1) Thank the pastor. If you know your pastor well, you may wish to do something ahead of time like bake him cookies or write him a card. But just thanking him in person after the service is great, too. Try to be specific, such as pointing out a part of his sermon that you liked or talking about something you know he’s doing for the congregation. It is easy to underestimate the difficulties of a pastor’s job or to acknowledge them but then forget. Words of encouragement will go a long way to help him persevere.
2) Talk to one new person at church. You can talk about anything for as long as you’d like. The goal is to become a little bit more connected with the body of Christ.
When I'm at church, it's a bit difficult to get out and talk to people. Not because I'm an introvert - I'm very open and communicative - but because I'm so busy. Today was no exception, but I did make an effort to get out and say "hi" to people during the meet-and-greet during worship.
We had about 55 people in service today, the majority of whom were either members or return visitors. We even had a few people in church to see off the minister's son (who moves off to college next weekend). All said, there were plenty of new faces, so I made an effort to shake as many hands and introduce myself to as many strangers as I could.
But I also had an opportunity to spend some time talking to my friend's husband. Her I know fairly well - him not so much. So after making a crack about the very loud Hawaiian shirt he chose to wear today, I took some time to catch up, see how things are going, and remind him about our standing Bible study Thursday night. He's come once before, but I've been trying to encourage people to be more involved.
I also took some time to talk to the minister today about his message - both before and after the service. I have the luxury of having the sermon outline and notes a few days in advance - I have to format the slides and add video when needed - so I already knew what it was about. The pastor was also able to work in video clips from my favorite TV show - Man vs Wild - so I paid extra attention at how those fit with the message.
If you want to listen to the sermon (with a link out to the video clip), feel free to check it out. Just ignore the section where I fall out of my chair about halfway through the sermon ... I was trying to lean to pick something up and forgot my chair had wheels. Needless to say, there's now audio evidence that I was in fact at church today. :-)