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::Devotional:: ‘People Matter’

October 15, 2009

I recently started reading a book again I’ve had for several years called “Risking Church” by Jim Kallam Jr., pastor at the Church At Charlotte in North Carolina.  I like to write notes in the books I own as I’m reading through them and it’s interesting to me to read back through what I wrote in this particular book.  I was at such a different place in life when I read the book the first time.  My thought process and heart were so different than they are now.  It’s kind of crazy to think about.  I wasn’t too crazy about it the first time I read it but now it seems like I can’t put it down.  So what’s it about right?  The book describes the need and the desire for believers to be a member of a community of other believers who are struggling well through life with Christ.  The back cover says “What would it be like to belong somewhere you could risk being known and still fee accepted?”  It describes a community where people come before programs.  A community where people matter.

As I look back over the last ten years or so of my life, I feel confident I can sum up the various stages of my spiritual growth and focus in three words.  Study, Discipleship, and Community.  I’m at a point in my life where I desire to be involved unconditionally in the lives of other people, especially other believers.  I need that, and I need it at such a deeper level than the superficial surface level that is often available.  I need to exit the stained glass masquerade.

I’ve been involved in the program push in years past and have juggled several different ministries all at the same time.  Probably not all that uncommon in today’s church.  One thing that I used to really struggle with was being to busy with ministry to actually minister to people.  I recall several occasions where I missed opportunities to be involved in the life of a teenager in my youth ministry because I was to busy setting up or cleaning up.  My focus was programs and not people.

See, people matter.  Plans are good and programs are great, but people matter most.  God works through people for people.  He uses my hands to meet your needs and your feet to run to my rescue.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2

What is the law of Christ?

Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.  Matthew 22:37-39

Maybe we can refocus our lives today and risk being honestly and unconditionally open with others.  Maybe we can finally decide to jump in the mud and the mire with a dear brother or sister in Christ and struggle alongside them in the messiness of life.  Maybe we can realize today that people matter.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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