My mother’s side of the family hails from Arkansas. I grew up hearing her refer to her extended family as “my people.” But since I was raised in a military home, and never lived anywhere longer than two years, it wasn’t until much later in life that the reference began to matter to me.
And boy did it matter this past Sunday! It mattered big time, because I got to be with “my people.” I got to laugh and cry some with “my people.” I got to worship out loud with “my people.” I got to hear God’s Word proclaimed and have my heart stirred right alongside “my people.”
It mattered. A great deal.
Chet’s message emphasized that very same principle. He talked about Glorifying God TOGETHER. Using our church acronym of L.I.F.E., we had the opportunity to think through exactly how to do all that TOGETHER.
L=Learning the Word of God
Of course, we do that as we can gather in the auditorium or a classroom or a parking lot. But we can also do that in a coffee shop or out on someone’s porch, in a friend’s living room or online in a Zoom chat room. Anytime and anywhere we gather around the scriptures, we are doing life with “our people.”
I= Investing into Relationships
This one takes a little work. It requires a focus and a real allocation of time. This is much more than just saying “hello” or shaking someone’s hand. It takes an intentional effort to build relationships. But it is so rewarding. As “my people” invest in me, I am encouraged and built up in my faith.
F= Following the Way of Christ
God’s plan for our lives has so many facets. And it’s hard to pursue Him with vigor. I will speak for myself. I need “my people” to faithfully nudge me when appropriate, pick me up when I am down and encourage me when I am hurting. I am not supposed to do the Christian life alone.
E= Engaging your World
Fulfilling the responsibility of the Great Commission requires partnerships. It is God’s plan that we partner with others in the body of Christ to preach the gospel, here, there and everywhere. When I give, “my people” take that gift and transform it into a gift of food or water or use it to build a church building or to translate the message into a radio program that shares the gospel. “My people” and I team up to get the job done.
Glorifying God Together is so much more than a church slogan. It is a way of life. And it was such a blessing to get a big gulp of it last Sunday.