“Did you go somewhere nice?” most colleagues asked when I returned from a week’s leave. A holiday at home can be a good idea: cheaper and just as relaxing. But this wasn’t exactly a staycation – it was a week of events at church for seniors!
…at that point colleagues began to flounder: “Sounds very…. worthwhile.”
I think it was worthwhile: 37 guests came at least once; a handful of these were new contacts; many heard gospel talks; and everyone got to hear something of the gospel. But ‘worthwhile’ sounds sort of ‘dull, but commendable’ – above all it was fun!
Okay, so it was hard work too! Risk assessments and shifting chairs aren’t my favourite things! But starting the day eating breakfast and praying for the day ahead with a couple of friends… followed by a morning spent in a cheery café with a never ending variety of home baking…then a delicious lunch I hadn’t had to prepare – that isn’t a bad way to spend a morning!!
The fun continued in the afternoons – manicures, beetle drives, glass painting, a quiz, practising my knitting to make a blanket with my friends and a trip to the ‘cinema’ complete with cornettos in the interval… that’s a pleasant way to pass the time! And then there was the dressing up – time travelling back to the 1950s and to finish the week as good old sing-a-long concert! What a happy week! Yes, I was tired at the end of the week, but enormously encouraged.
And the biggest encouragement were my 30+ brothers and sisters who I was working alongside! Many of us didn’t even know each other before the week started, but it was testament to their unity in Christ how they worked together. Many of the guests commented on the welcoming and loving atmosphere the they created. Our team varied in age, background, experience and gifting, but God can use whatever is given to him – even us!
It was great to see people using their gifts of cooking, Bible teaching, beauty training, befriending etc. for the gospel. But strangely I was even more encouraged by people who said “I’ve never done this before, but I’ll have a go” and were willing to do things outside their comfort zone for their Lord – whether that was mass catering, speaking at the front or trying to start conversations with guests.
We might not be the slickest, most professional event in the church calendar, but our guests warmed to our ‘homemade’ style and witnessed a practical outworking of our faith. We pray that God will use some of what was said and done as he works in the lives of our guests. But that’s up to Him! Regardless people spent the hours/days/week they were on team working to honour Him – and that’s time well spent!
What do my work colleagues make of all this?! I don’t really know! I suspect they think I’m slightly crazy! But even those who aren’t interested in church stuff were up for laughing at a photo of me dressed as Sheena the Sheep…. which meant they got to hear that skit was about Jesus being the only Gate!
Get in early and book your annual leave to join us next year…or if this isn’t your thing, be inspired to do a different ‘crazy thing’ for Jesus and let those around you see the outworking of your faith!