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Sunday, August 20, 2017

To the Family Ministry Team

This summer was crazy.

At the beginning of the summer, our Kids and Student ministries combined into one giant team called Family Ministry. It was a complete change, restructuring, upheaval. What used to be was no longer. Everything was new. It was the best change that could have happened for the direction of our church and our ministries and our campuses, but - in short - it was hard. 

That was it. It was hard. 

There is one important lesson that has emerged as the dust on this summer has settled...

My people. 
I work with the very best people. 
My people were there when life was only one foot in front of the other. 

I saw grace and kindness and community and humility unlike anything I’ve experienced before. We weren’t just a group of people who worked side by side and then quietly packed up at the end of the day. We slaved together, we cried together, we checked each other’s pulses (literally), we asked the questions that needed to be asked. We listened, we grieved, we celebrated, sometimes we didn’t need to speak at all. It was the most tangible example of grace I have ever experienced. 

I saw it when my co-worker, instead of going to the gym, drove back to the church to sit with me and celebrate a minor but significant moment I had accomplished earlier that day. 

I saw it in the constant phone calls and texts that asked a simple question - “I see you. Are you okay?”

I saw it when my friend meant to give me a gift, but ended up giving me a nickname that has spanned the entire summer and beyond. You know how much I love a good nickname. 

I saw it in safe places of conversation and vulnerability.

I saw it in the genuine concern (which turned into genuine laughter) when I fell out of an eno in Haiti and had a bruise the size of a small child. 

I saw it when a friend looked me right in the eye and didn’t shield or move away from the heaviness of grief. 

I saw it in the mantra of “we’re going to make it,” in the firm and steady belief that transition is temporary and this new season was going to be greater than anything we ever could have hoped for. 

I saw it in the seeing, the recognition of one to another, of the Deep in me encouraging the Deep in you. 

I saw it the opening of our homes to one another, no matter the time or day or hour. 

I saw it in “read this book, this book reminds me of you."

I saw it in the commitment of these people to be where God has called them to be, to do the work God has called them to do. 

I saw it in approaching the throne of grace with confidence for one another and finding mercy and grace to help in a time of need. 

I saw it in a friend who stayed on the phone with me for an hour and a half one night as I cared for a student, just so I wouldn’t fall asleep. 

This is all grace to me. 

I am convinced that when we get to the end of our lives, if we have stood for people, we will have stood for something. This is much more powerful than I think our finite brains can wrap its mind around. Love has the power to do much more than we give it credit for. Love is such a long game. Love - over time - has the power to do what we underestimate it to do. 

Bit by bit, step by step, coffee by coffee, word by word, laugh by laugh, we survived. And we not only survived, we survived together. And we not only survived together, we thrived together. 

You guys, ministry is the good life. You are dedicated to Kingdom work, to helping students and kids and families see Jesus differently. You help point people to hope, to a new story, to a Gospel of Grace. You help people see that the Church, that God, is for them. WHAT COULD BE BETTER. And even more so, to have people to recenter you and encourage you and keep you moving one foot in front of the other, well, this is my feeble attempt to articulate that it has the power to save lives. 

So, friends. Thank you. This is such a sweet season. We are at the beginning of something so good. I read a quote from Michael Gungor once that I’d like to quote here - 

“I hope to help you step back and see more clearly what you are trying to do with your work. To those with weary and blistered fingers, this is your invitation to hike with me back up to the ledge, take in the big picture, and remember who we are and why we do what we do. After we’ve remembered and drawn in a few deep breaths of that crisp desert air, may we be filled with courage to descend once more into the valley where the work gets done.”

Team, you have been my invitation. You have been the hike. You are my sight of the big picture. You are my remembering. You are the crisp desert air. You are the courage to turn around and walk back into the valley. 

Onward and upward, together!

1 comment:

  1. Your post has brought me to flowing tears. To be a part of this amazing team is God's grace. To have you as a friend who waste no time in pointing out the work of God been done through others is abundant grace! You, Lindsay,are an example to us all.