Slow down before you speed up!
As I was walking in town last week I came across a large fir tree being stood up outside the Victoria Shopping Centre. I then went to see a friend in Starbucks and noticed all their festive advertising. It seems that Christmas is on its way.
I actually quite like this side of November – I am big-kiddish enough that the anticipation of Christmas is fun, but I know lots of people feel it’s all too soon.
Perhaps one reason for this is that we’ve only just got through the first rush of Autumn. I certainly think that is the case for lots of our MSCs. As we moved to two gatherings again lots of us have found creative ways to occupy the space. There’s been a bit of multiplication of activity as brunches, Discovery Bible Studies, parenting courses, cream teas and mission in neighbourhoods have sprung up and it has resulted in increased discipleship.
This is brilliant! But I know it’s taken effort. Right now I want to remind us to slow down before we speed up. By that I don’t mean stop the great things we are doing, I just mean make sure you pause for breath before rushing straight into the next thing – especially if that is planning for Christmas.
How do we slow down?
Take time to relax together – go for a walk as a community, gather for a meal, chat about how life is going. Think about fun things you are already doing and see if you can share them with others in your MSC.
Also make time to pray. Pray together, and pray just you and God. I’m personally feeling challenged to increase the time just God and me get to spend together. I’m finding that my ability to rest and my willingness to pray do go hand in hand.
Remember. Around this time of year we get all saints/all souls day, bonfire night and remembrance day. Did you notice them? Isn’t it interesting that this time of year is full of the challenge to remember. I think we should listen to this. Think back and remember – your history, your story and your MSC‘s story – what has God done, how has He shown He is faithful? The Psalms are full of this encouragement; don’t forget, remember.
Celebrate. We are seeing little breakthroughs around us. Celebrate what God is doing. As I have led huddles this last week it’s been really good to hear stories of provision and leaders have felt challenged to give, of new contacts made as communities have blessed those around them, of people interested in and asking about faith. I want to be able to share those stories – if you have a little story about money, about something your community has been doing, about something that you feel the Lord is showing you then please let us know. One simple way to do that is leaving a comment below.
Resting and relaxing, praying, remembering and celebrating. I think all these might feel a bit of a discipline right now. You might not immediately see how they fit. I want to encourage you to be very intentional about how you do them though. We need to slow down before we speed up!
Have a great week! Ben.