My family is excited to be part of a church plant in north Edmond, Oklahoma. Although there are many challenges associated with church plants, it seems to be where I am most comfortable. That is not to say that I prefer hard metal chairs over padded pews. However, there really is nothing more exciting and fulfilling than starting fresh and new. It is also a time which calls for greater patience and forbearance with one another, which results in growing much closer to brothers and sisters.
This morning, Travis Akins, our minister at the Heritage Church of Christ in Edmond, spoke to us about the importance of being a welcoming church. He brought out some excellent points about Romans 12, especially the two word imperative found in verse 13. Here we are instructed by the Holy Spirit to “practice hospitality.”
Travis helped me see something in the text that I don’t recall seeing before. These two words, this simple instruction, form the center-piece, the pivot-point, if you will, for the entire chapter. Here is a sampling of how it works:
- Do you want to show sincere love to others? Practice hospitality.
- Do you want to honor others above yourself? Practice hospitality.
- Do you want to keep your spiritual fervor? Practice hospitality.
- Do you want to bless those who persecute you? Practice hospitality.
- Do you want to associate with people of low position? Practice hospitality.
Rich, isn’t it?
Another thing Travis brought to our attention is applicable to situtations beyond the craziness associated with conducting Bible classes for all ages and worship services in a rented facility. It is applicable in every area of our lives.
He said, “We need to STOP our busyness and START being with people. People are more important than projects.
This is an important thing to keep in mind as we prepare for Sunday mornings; as we set out to complete all of our household duties for the week; and, as we set out for work and the myriad of assignments that await us there. People are more important than projects. We need to STOP our busyness and START being with people.
Thank you for the reminder, Travis!
Here is hoping all who read these lines have a blessed, productive, and people-filled week!
© Bill Williams, a fellow sojourner
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