- One was Baptist
- One was Lutheran
- One was Nazarene
- One was from the "Church Under the Bridge" (A Church that meets the I35 Bridge near Baylor)
- Two were from Alliance Bible Church
- Four were from Antioch Community Church
Oh---and one Church of Christ guy. That would be me.
We eat lunch together every month. The third Tuesday. There are pastors/ministers/para-church leaders represented in this group. We eat in a different church building each month. There are usually ten to twenty people present. I have been a part of this group for a number of years. For the last two years, I have been the facilitator of these gatherings. This group exists for this purpose: "To remember the forgotten, neglected, and poor people who live in the city of Waco." So--that is exactly what we focus on.
When we come together, we eat lunch and then discuss some topic related to our purpose. We might hear news of something a para-church organization is doing in our community. Or (as we did Tuesday) we might tell encouraging stories. For me it has been a time to grow, make wonderful friends, and learn.
Years ago, you wouldn't have caught me at a gathering like this. No sir! I bought a very isolationist view of ministry. That meant I need to keep to myself and my tribe. Back then, if I had been with the people who I was with on Tuesday, I would have been very uncomfortable. "What do I say? What am I supposed to do?" Of course to some of you this is a no-brain-er. To others of you, (pardon me for this), you believe we should not isolate ourselves and yet you make no real effort to get to know other people outside your church or congregation. Many others of you, no doubt, are far ahead of me with this.
I've learned many things through my relationships with these friends. We live in a city with many neglected, forgotten, and poor people. This gathering reminds me that the city is much larger than my congregation or the things that concern me. Repeatedly, I am reminded at these lunches of needs in our community.
I have also learned that everyone has something to contribute and something to offer, if I will just listen. I do not want to be so arroagant as to think that I somehow have arrived. I've been there---done that.
I realize there are many people who read this blog who are not church leaders etc. You might ask yourself, "Who am I learning from?" Am I listening to younger people? Are there some wise, older people who I am listening to? Am I learning from good authors? Am I learning from people who come from different vantage points than me?