Over the past several months and weeks, our team has been praying, dreaming, and collaborating together about how the church could begin to grow here, and begin to be a part of the life of the community here, being a part of meeting the needs here.
As we have been doing this we have been discussing what it would mean to create a place where people could go, feel that they belong and that they are a part of something, a place where people would learn and grow in Christ together. This week we are beginning a time of Bible study and worship as a team and that we can invite people and friends too. While discussing some of the logistical things such as when and where, times and dates, of planning when the best time of the week is for people to come together, one of our teammates expressed that a part of people becoming a part of the church, a part of the people of God, means first just inviting them to be a part of the regular patterns of life of the church. Moments of worship, prayer, praise, service, and of growth, are all a part of the life of faith. And for people to see that, we simply have to invite them in to share life with us, to be a part of these patterns of the life of faith that are already happening in and among us.
I think I sometimes easily slip into the perspective of thinking of serving, living faithfully, and expressing Christ's love to others as always being us going and doing specific acts of service, or always looking for new ways that we can be meeting the needs around us. And often times this is a huge part of the life of faith. However, these words were a reminder to me that in many ways expressing Christ's love to others means simply living the life of faith and inviting people to be a part of that life with us.
Henri Nouwen speaks into this same idea in one of his writings. In the passage he is feeling overwhelmed by being busy and the stress of finding time to prepare to lead all of the things that are being asked of him. When discussing his stress with a friend this is the response he received, "The question you see is not to prepare but to live in a state of ongoing preparedness. One time you call is preaching, the next time teaching, then counseling, or later administration. But let them be a part of your life in God- that is ministering."
And I hope that this could be a reminder to you as well, to be inviting people in to your life, and into your space, letting them be a part of your moments of worship, praise, growth, and even struggle, so that others can see how God is moving and working.
Also, and on a different note, we realized that we have not put up pictures of the area where we live for you guys to see it. So here are a few new pictures of our neighborhood. Enjoy!
|Our neighborhood is called Vrbani.|
|Our apartment building.|
|The park/playgnoud in front of our building|
|The market and snack stand (Tisak) beside our building.|
|The walkway to the large park and lake across the street from where we live.|
|The lake near our apartment|
|This is where we (and half of Zagreb) love to be on warm, sunny days!|
|The local produce market where we shop.|