This month at the Love Feast we are doing something new.
When we were asking God early in the year what He wanted us to focus on in 2015, one of the primary ways we sensed Him leading us as a community is in the area of stewarding our gifts well by intentionally naming, cultivating, and using them to serve others. This is easier said than done as it takes trust and vulnerability to speak out in front of others the things that are close to our hearts and say, "I want to pursue this." Many of us can have fears and insecurities around these gifts that God has given us, and it is tempting to just keep quiet, not really do much to grow. We can tend to stay "under the radar" so that there is no risk of somebody saying something that could potentially hurt us. And sometimes we don't want anyone else holding us accountable through encouragement and exhortation when we just want to give up.
But in our hearts, we all have desires God has put in us to use the things we know, are good at, and care about. It is part of being human and created in God's image. And we actually live into our design when we first realize that we belong to the Father and His eternal Family, we have an unchanging identity as His beloved sons and daughters, and that we are free to explore, experiment with, and discover the ways He's designed us to creatively bring His Kingdom to Earth. Every person has a unique and meaningful contribution in the Kingdom.
We decided that a primary goal this year in the Boiler Room community would be to very intentionally pursue creating a safe space for each person to be vulnerable with one another by naming the things gifts that we carry, whether currently active or dormant in our lives, and then dream of ways to encourage each other to cultivate those gifts and serve each other and the community. We began by doing a Head-Hands-Heart activity with our core community that meets on Sunday nights as a missional house church. Every person gets sticky notes and writes on them 2-3 gifts of the head (What do you know a lot about?), gifts of the hands (What are you good at doing?), and gifts of the heart (what are you passionate about?). We then put our sticky notes on three corresponding boards on the wall--and get to see a visual of the wealth of assets that are present in the room. It's a really powerful perspective when you begin to see all the amazing things God has put in us.
We begin to learn about each other and think and talk about how we can encourage one another. We ask if there are any projects we could pursue that could create space for using them. Around this time, Dan, who loves running, started a running club for people who want to discover the joy of running, and every Saturday morning they get together to run one mile and then have breakfast. Caleb, who is a creative type and a doer, saw potential in creating an art studio in the basement as a possibility for the other creative types in our community and neighborhood to use to practice and create together. These are just a couple of examples of ways we begin to experiment with these gifts--and we trust that as we sow these seeds and cultivate them in our lives, they will grow into big strong beautiful trees over time and display God's glory.
This month we are taking the same Head-Hands-Heart exercise to the wider circle of our Love Feast relationships. For four weeks we are inviting people to name their gifts, write them down to stick on the cutouts, and talk about them over dinner. As we do this, we expect to see the Kingdom break into our community in new ways. We hope to see people come alive as they realize what they have to offer matters, and they can serve others with their gifts as an act of worship. We hope that this will be a catalyst for new initiatives born out of the people who make up this neighborhood, and we will learn a lot more about what God is already up to among us.
Please pray that we for us to be diligent about this posture of listening--to people and to God. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to drive away fear and reluctance in us and our neighbors, and that His Kingdom would come as we pursue the treasure in one another.
:: tim ::