Love Where You Live

July 5th 2016 No comments yet  

cafe meetingsLast week, I sang about God’s amazing grace at the memorial service of a dear brother here at Stonebriar, Dave. Dave was a church member who I came to know through our Friday morning job-loss encouragement group, Reach Up Reach Out (RURO). As the group sat around the table last Friday morning at RURO, I was touched by all the stories of Dave’s encouragement to others. He had known some of these people for years, others for only a few weeks, but in some way, he had left an impression on each of them. What struck me is that it wasn’t anything big or hard that Dave did—it was mostly just being a good listener and an observer of people and then offering a kind word, a joke, or a connecting point to someone who could help.

At the memorial service, I heard more stories of Dave’s impact on people, from childhood and college friends to former coworkers, family members, guys in his small group, and even employees from his favorite restaurant and hangout, Café Express. The employees there had grown so close to him that they even brought his favorite tea and Café Express cups to the memorial reception. After I saw and heard all of this, a realization hit me.

Dave’s kind of impact is at the heart of what Missional Living is all about. This is what we want for all members of our church family: for them to be growing in their relationship with God and one another, and then living that out wherever they find themselves—their home, neighborhood, workplace, school, stores where they shop, restaurants where they eat, and so on. God is at work in all of those places, and we get to be a part of it!

We come together at church every Sunday to be taught the Word of God and to worship together, but what about the other 166 hours the Lord gives us each week?  What would it look like if we started paying attention to the people and needs that are right in front of our face, like Dave did, and asked God, “How can I show Your love and care here? How can I live out the Gospel in this place where you have allowed me to be?” What would our homes, workplaces, community, nation, and world look like?

I am thankful for people like Dave who act on their faith. He didn’t wait until he “got his act together” or felt like he knew enough. In fact, it was in his deepest time of struggle that the Lord shone even brighter in his life. What if we all allowed our brokenness to become the pulpit of ministry in our day-to-day lives? What if I saw my kid’s school, my workplace, or my favorite restaurant as my “mission field”?

Please join me in being more intentional as we look for ways to represent Jesus everywhere we go.  Wherever you are, my friend, love where you live!

Written by Karen Hawkins,
Pastoral Leader of Community Care


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