This week brings a change in our regular routine, such as it is, and my family found ourselves with a few hours free on a Wednesday evening. This isn't a usual occurrence in the life of the family of a pastor, as most churches hold midweek Bible studies, prayer meetings, and other such activities.
What to do with a couple of hours on a Wednesday night? We decided to top off a busy day by sitting down for supper at a CiCi's Pizza just a couple of blocks from our church facility. No one has to cook and... it's PIZZA! Everyone's happy!
The experience was a wake-up call of sorts for me. This pizza establishment was busy with families from the community. People of all ages and skin colors eating, laughing, and glancing occasionally at the big screen TV in the corner. As we walked in, my teenage son saw a friend from school and went over to say "hi." Within 2 minutes of being there, I was recognized by someone as "the pastor who likes like Rascal Flatts." Another minute or so later, I ran into a former church member and sat down with her to catch up.
Our church has a vision: spreading the hope of Christ by being the hands & feet of Jesus to the unchurched families in our community. We've been spending a lot of time & energy of late with vision and strategy to do that. How do we meet and reach out to the unchurched families in our community? What does it look like to BE the church of God?
During our time there, we at pizza and enjoyed ourselves as a family. But other things took place. We connected with a former church member. I prayed for someone's prayer concern. We engaged in conversation and laughter with those sitting around us. I was asked twice to explain my "I Am A Verb" t-shirt, which led to talking about Jesus. Plus I had the opportunity to invite 6 people to join us for the Easter gathering at church!
Today I'm rethinking pizza... and a lot of other things.