Time Together

Time is at the core of relational ministry.

Having served in the pastoral ministry for 16 years, my wife Jerri and I had never had the experience of looking for a church home until about 6 years ago. At that time, I felt burned out and needed a break from the pastoral ministry. What I did not know was how difficult it is to get into a church. We tried several different churches to find home. We gave them more than a fair shot by attending one for a several years, another for a few months, and the last one for over 7 months. We went to worship on Sunday morning and participated in home groups and special events. We tried to be involved, but when we stepped back and evaluated our experience, we were not connected with anyone relationally. In the 6 years of trying to find home, no one from any of these churches called to just get together and get acquainted or to find out what was happening in our personal walk with the Lord! We did get calls from people recruiting us for special events or to work out details of a meeting we were supposed to have a part in. Do you know that, to this day, we have never received a call or visit from anyone to find out why we dropped out? Oh, we did get a call from one place a year after we left, but that was to sign us up for a retreat. The person was somewhat embarrassed when we said we had not attended for over a year. How could this be?

I am not bashing other churches. I am saying that there is a component missing in even some of the best churches, and that component is relationship-based ministry.

I do not think the importance of relational ministry can be understated! People need to feel welcomed, accepted, and loved. They need to feel like they are included as part of the group or they aren't likely to stay around. BUT, you know what? ...

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