So this week Pastor Jenn asked if I would write the Weekly Update about how inviting someone to St. Luke’s has been transformational to me. And truthfully I do not know if I am the right person for the task.
First, you should all get a little background on me. I grew up in the church, specifically the Southern Baptist Church. And let me tell you the “E-word” (evangelism) was not only something I was raised around, it was as if at the gates of heaven there would be a giant tally board like the Jerry’s Kid Labor Day telethon that would roll out the number of people I had asked to come to church who had “found salvation” before I was allowed to approach the throne of God! Monday night was “visitation night.” And though I am a people person at heart, the thought of what I have named Cold Calls for Christ made me more than a little nauseous!
For a long time, my experience within the church I grew up in and being marginalized by that church because of who I am, put the E-word completely off the grid for me. Because now the dirty word was the C-word...church. And I assure you I am not alone in that especially in the LGBTQ+ community.
However, St. Luke’s and my experience as a St. Luker has changed all of that. The thing I was missing in the C-word (church) was a home and family that truly takes me in just as I am and allows me to live into the gifts God has given me and to fully be a part of such an exciting place that is doing so much good in the world like St. Luke’s. And the thing I was missing years ago in the pursuit of inviting people to church when I was growing up was that I was missing the point of it altogether. It’s not a pursuit of anything at all. It is about sharing something wonderful in your life with the people in your life. It isn’t about how many people I can get in the pews or chairs. It is about offering a place of community and love and grace to anyone who needs it.
Still sounds daunting?? Well let me tell you my secret...