By now I hope you have heard, that our brothers and sisters in Christ from CityChurch Andernach in Germany are coming to serve with us in a few weeks. I am sure many of you are processing what that means.
- Who are they?
- What will they do?
- Should I engage them and the activities?
Trust me, I have been in your shoes.
Another year rolls around
When I arrived at Alsbury in 2009, it was on the heels of one of the trips CityChurch had taken to visit Alsbury and serve in our community. These famous (infamous?) “Germans” were clearly a big deal. Yet, I could not wrap my brain around how that pertained to my tasks as Worship Pastor, or how it fit in an extremely packed Spring schedule. So, I moved forward unconcerned.
As 2010 began, I heard more talk of these “Germans.” I thought again, “these folks are a big deal.” But, I still did not see how their places of service pertained to what Alsbury’s worship ministries were doing at the time. So, I spoke with a few of the CityChurch team members and played kickball one day, but largely went about normal life.
So, another year rolled around and once again “The Germans are coming!” The date of their arrival approached. I was still in the same frame of mind that it was a great thing that a group of people from Germany would come and partner with what God was doing in our community, but my intention was to be as engaged, and I use that term loosely, as years past.
As I rounded the corner to open my office door the light was on inside. I thought I had been careless and left it on the night before. I grabbed my keys and proceeded to unlock the handle. To my surprise it was unlocked. So I swung the door open and started at what I saw. Seated on my couch, early in the morning was a man that without doubt would become one of my greatest brothers and friends in Christ. Mike Vlanijc sat with a grin on his face patiently waiting for my arrival. He began a conversation that was something like:
I have given you time to see what this is all about, and you have not taken the opportunity, so I am now waiting in your office till we become best friends.
Anyone that knew me those years ago would know that that moment was a stretch for me. But, that moment was the catalyst I needed to begin interacting with this annual trip that CityChurch Andernach takes to come and worship, serve, minister and love alongside Alsbury.
There is something amazing about hearing what God is doing all over the world. We are able to connect with people from a different culture, geography, perspective, age, family, career, yet all the while knowing that we are bonded as close as family through the blood of our Savior. I am reminded year after year why the Bible calls us to gather and share life together. I am refreshed and renewed every time we partner together to serve.
There is a place for you!
God has ordained conversations and opportunities to serve Him in ways I never dreamed since interacting with our CityChurch friends. I believe He will do the same for you. Take the opportunity to partner with all that is happening in a few weeks.
IF you do not, you might just find me seated in your office, relentlessly requiring that you participate. Hey, it worked on me!