If our church plant is anything, it is a surprise.
Our church has resisted every stereotype and template that we were given in training and early-stage coaching. From the speed at which this church has grown to her size and composition, her beginning was more like being given a shapeless lump of clay rather than a coloring book with black and white images already drawn.
I was reminded of this recently when one of our church members walked into our rented space in a performing arts theatre carrying some breakfast burritos, guacamole, and salsa.
I got to know Rodney [not his real name] through a business networking group to which we both belonged. Week in and week out he got to hear my 30-second elevator speeches about our church plant. As part of the group’s membership requirements, we would get together periodically to talk further about business which would sometimes evolve to talk of faith, church, and God.
He was a member of a local Evangelical church but did not ever speak in excited terms about his experience there or his feelings of connection. I didn’t attempt any “recruitment” but instead just listened and answered questions, including some questions he had after he had talked to some people from a fringe “Christian” group.
What happened next surprised me simply because I had never imagined him to have any particularly strong impulses in regard to his faith. To me, he seemed curious in the way that someone might be curious about what time Costco opens every day. Indifferent as well.
About 4 months ago he walked unannounced into our Sunday worship. He had given me no indication that he had been thinking about trying us out. But it became apparent from his comments that his interest was much deeper than idle curiosity.
Soon after joining us, he signed up for scripture reading. He also comes to our monthly socials and goes out to eat with us when his schedule allows. And then there were the burritos.
Rodney’s showing up proved two things to me. The first is that I have an abysmally poor track record at guessing what is going on inside the hearts of people. The second is that what may seem like insignificant and even wasteful gestures may actually be accumulating into something very significant in someone’s heart.
Rodney’s burritos were a big hit, and only crumbs were left on the serving platters. I never imagined how popular they would be, but on the other hand, I never imagined that Rodney would walk through our doors.
You never know!