As the weekend wore on, the same thoughts that creep into my mind on Love Shelbyville day weekends returned.
“People are going to take this weekend off. I hope there’s enough people to fill the teams.”
“I wish we could just have a normal Sunday. We’ve seemed to have had good momentum the last few weeks.”
“What will people think if their group doesn’t meet expectations?”
"Is Love Shelbyville day really worth it?"
And then, still swirling in all those thoughts, I showed up on Sunday morning.
I watched as new faces walked in ready to serve. I listened as group leaders talked about what their group was going to be doing. I helped as people tried to find a group to serve in. I marveled as people worked out all the kinks and shared stories of what God was doing in these different ministries.
I realized that a lot of these same people wrestled with similar fears and worries. But here they were. Ready to make a difference in one ministry or in one person’s life. We were all leaning into the unknown together so that Jesus could be glorified.
So I asked myself, “Why do we keep doing this? What are the real reasons? How does this keep the mission moving forward?”
I came up with three reasons—you might have more—but maybe these can encourage you to lean in again with us in March.
We see more new faces on Love Shelbyville day than any other of the month. It’s not only an easy invite, it's also less threatening to try out a church on a day that you’re going to serve. We can’t forget that people disconnected from the church are the heart of “going outside.” On a day that becomes easy for “church people” to skip, the disconnected are leaning in. What an opportunity!
Love Shelbyville day helps heal church hurt wounds. Unfortunately, nearly everyone knows someone who has been hurt by a church in some way. Seeing the church actively serving the community through organizations and groups that are healing the community is often just enough to create a conversation with some who otherwise would be unwilling to consider church.
Love Shelbyville day will help our kids and grandkids stay connected to the church in the future. When the approach to finding a church is all about what we want in a church, the search can be tough and the truth is that no church will meet our every desire. Love Shelbyville battles our consumer mindsets by innately teaching us that we are the church when we engage. If we fight the urge to stay home because serving with our kids is tough, our kids will be more likely to stay connected to healthy churches in the future.
See you in March!