So did you do it? Did you send a snail mail to someone, a letter, a handwritten  letter? To take that one step further, would be our next slide. And that is to  actually eat, eating together and talking. I love Acts 20:7, on the first day of the  week, we came together to break bread, Paul spoke to the people. And because he intended leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. Do people get a  sense that you don't want to leave their presence? Do they get a sense that you  love being with them? Now as leaders, that is a discipline, to love being with  people and having a lot to do, and learning how to be present with them, even  when the time is going quickly, and you're on to the next meeting. But as  powerfully encouragement is powerful encouragement, lifting someone else up,  when you can take that moment, that moment where all that matters in the world is that person, and they feel it, it's in your body language. It's in how your eyes  make contact, it's when you're listening to them, it's you're noticing them, you  know, eating together. A lot of times, you know, people are learning to eat alone.  Once upon a time, eating in families, it was common at a certain time in family  members got to know each other and their parents. Once upon a time, people  actually had each other over more often in some of the cultures in the world,  some of that is still going on. But in many Western cultures, people are having  business lunches, or they're now meeting by zoom. And because of pandemics  and all of that, people are really getting out of any practice of meeting together.  But pandemics will come and pandemics will go there will be always excuses  not to actually eat with someone else. But learning how to not eat alone, but not  because you can't be alone. But because this is an opportunity in ministry.  Eating and lunch is one of the most amazing ways to actually connect with  parishioners. I remember thinking, you know, like, Okay, I got a sermon to write,  or I got this to do, and I've got that to do. And if your bi-vocational, you know,  you have so much to do. You know, some of you are bi-vocational ministers or  are working part time, here's a suggestion, you know, maybe you're one who is  doing this out of the fullness of your heart and sharing it as a volunteer to the  church. And then someone from the church leader says, hey, we'd like to give  you some salary. Now you have a pretty good situation, you don't need the  salary. Here's an encouragement, an idea that I have seen, I'm done, it's been  very effective, say to the leaders of the church, you know, the only thing I'd like,  is a budget, to be able to take people out to dinner. And I will submit my bills in  Western nations, often you have to submit your bills and for them to be repaid.  But it just creates a discipline. Every time you can meet with someone, that's  encouragement, and then when you're there, things can go deeper and further.  So eating together and talking and actually being present is a powerful way of  lifting someone up. You know, we can talk about having the attitude, but there  are times when we just get into the grind of it. Just actually meeting with people  calling from you know, the same can be said about phone calls. People are  texting, but they're not calling each other to call each other to meet eat together 

to get together for fellowship. All of those things are powerful acts of lifting  others up

Last modified: Friday, August 18, 2023, 7:24 AM