We got to get together with some people to play volleyball at Brentwood Park and it was a lot of fun. I have noticed as we move forward to see a church and a people that are living on mission that it is easy to get so focused on the mission that we forget about relationships and connecting with each other. I was encouraged to see that even though we didn’t have hangouts every week sense we started meeting together, our group was surprisingly excited to hang out with each other. Which led me to a few observations:
1. Relationships need time to develop. Sometimes we are quick to survey a group of people and conclude that we don’t have anything in common and it would be difficult to connect, however, very few of our people have a lot in common, yet after 4 months they enjoy spending time together. It takes time.
2. Relationships need purpose. We aren’t getting together to simply play volleyball. In terms of volleyball it was a horrible experience. The sand on the court had pebbles, rocks, sticks, and straws sticking out of it. That isn’t exiting. The net was ripped up and falling apart. I am only 5’10 and I could reach most of my arm over the net…it was kind of pathetic. Nevertheless we had a lot of fun hanging out. The activity we were doing wasn’t as important because there was a bigger purpose to our relationship.
3. Relationships take risk. It would have been really east to stay at home. It would have been really easy to show up late and take off early. It would have been really easy to not connect with anyone and put any effort into getting to know others, but relationships take risk. The easiest thing would be to avoid people at all costs and never take any risks, but when we do, we are going to find a greater satisfaction in our relationships with others.
It might get messy, it will get messy, but relationships are important. They are important for us and they are important to Jesus. He didn’t intend for us to go alone. He not only gave His life, sent the Spirit, but also intended for us to connect with one another so that we might more fully live on mission.