It Takes Time...

|
This weekend we had a BBQ at our church. We invited some friends that we know because of Ben's school. It was interesting to bring them into that world (you know...the church world), but what struck me is that we have lived here in Winnipeg (Windsor Park specifically) for 4 1/2 years and this is the first time we have actually invited any adult friends to anything at our church. I have noticed lately that we are now starting to feel comfortable in our community, when we go to school with our kids we know a lot of the kids and their parents, when we go to sports events with our kids we are getting to know a bunch of the families there as well. 4 1/2 years seems like such a long time for us (this is a record for us living in one place) but we are really just starting to build really good relationships with people. I am reminded of a couple things...when we moved to Winnipeg I remember our Real Estate Agent saying that on average people live in the same house for 2 years...also, one of my professors at Providence College reported to me that the average length of time a Youth Pastor stays on at a church is 18 months. We so easily make moves and think that it is the best thing to do, but relationship is the base value for just about anything that you do...how can all this moving and uprooting be a positive thing?

3 comments:

phil said...

YES AND AMEN, caps are intentional

Outgoing... said...

Of course we should celebrate each past the infamous 18 months that we 'last' in a church. But like you already know 4 1/2 years isn't really that long. I think so often we have forgotten how crucial turst is to the function of our mission. We have too long thought that some how if we packaged the message just right we would be able to slip one past people and not have to do the labor intensive work of building thier trust. Not so unlike the picture of the average prostitute encounter. People used to commend me for staying in Coaldale MB for 14 years or whatever it was but really to me it never seemed like the amount of time I spent here in the church was any kind of real achievement. At the same time it is not lost on me that there are many things that we (MARK and I have done in this community becuase we did not need to jump over the distrust hurdle. So congratulations - not on staying so long but on being willing to do the job the right way!

roverT said...

thanks Dale, I think that you are right...the time is less important then the relationships you build. The thing is, it always takes time to build those.