19 Mar 4 Ways You Can Be FOR 4 People
And, for those of you whose hearts have been captured by the Pearson family and their story on This Is Us, you’re probably mourning this as the first of many Tuesdays where there isn’t a new episode on NBC at 9/8 central.
Without a doubt, one of the most compelling elements of the show is the kind of husband, father, and friend that Jack is to all. The reason that this character has become so central and championed by viewers all over is because he is constantly showing that he is FOR others (highlights here if you need a little Tuesday This is Us fix). He is in his wife’s corner. He is FOR Kate, Kevin, and Randall (his three kids) and loves them no matter what. He’s always thinking about what would bring the people in his life value, not what would bring him value.
Here’s the thing: We all want to be known. We want to belong. We want to know that people are FOR us. And, we all need to know that Jesus is FOR us. He is in our corner and loves us, and died so that we could have a relationship with him.
People will know that God is FOR them when they see that we are FOR them. So, at the heart of United is the desire that we would be a church that is FOR all people. That is going to take intentionality, hard work, conversations, and daily decisions from everyone that calls United home to be FOR those in our families, our circles of friends, our neighborhoods, our schools, our places of work, and our communities.
Getting really practical, we broke this down into four ways we can be FOR people. Reflect on these, wrestle with them, spend time praying over them, write the names of 4 people down, and commit to being FOR those 4 people in these four ways:
Pray – Pray for the 4 people you want to be FOR. Pray that they would know that the church is FOR them and that God is FOR them. And, pray that we would be a church that is FOR them. Two of things we want to pray for specifically in terms of becoming a church that your 4 know is FOR them are that we would have a permanent space in our community for our community and that we would reflect the community. This means having a stance of humility and the courage to engage in conversations that will help us reflect the backgrounds, languages, and cultures that are a part of Owings Mills. In this way, we pray we won’t be defined as a white church, a black church, or a Hispanic church, or a church that welcomes you but expects you to assimilate to a given culture. We want to be a multi-ethnic church that reflects the diversity of our community and the heart of God FOR all people in the music we play, the language we use, the graphics we use, the events we put on and participate in, and the things that we prioritize.
Invite – Invite people to come to United. Invite them to serve with you at a #UnitedFOR event. Invite them to a small group. Invite them to listen online or check out our live stream, and encourage them that United is a place where they can belong before they believe.
#UnitedFOR – Join in and serve at 4 #UnitedFOR events this year. From festivals, to food drives, to events with the Baltimore Humane Society, Community Crisis Center, and the Samaritan Women, to Generosity Feeds, there are tons of opportunities for us to connect with others from our community and show them that we are FOR them.
Table 4 – Gather around the table with your 4. Meet them for coffee. Go out to lunch. Go for a walk. Hang out at an event in the community. Have them over for dinner. Take them a meal or their favorite Starbucks drink. Spend time hearing their stories, their lives, their thoughts, and their perspectives. Show them you are FOR them by spending time with them.