Sharing Keys

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The prevailing power of the church is based upon sharing access with others.

The prevailing power of the church is based upon sharing access with others.

Have you ever had a neighbor you’ve shared a key with?

We used to have neighbors who would come over to our house when we were gone for the holidays and get our cat and take the cat to their house, because they said they didn’t want her to be alone on the holidays.

We have neighbors on either side of us now, who have our key and we have theirs. We’ve taken care of each other’s dogs when out of town.

When keys are exchanged there is a relationship. There is trust. There is authority and access.

In Matthew 16:19 Jesus tells his followers, “I will give you keys. These keys have the power and authority of heaven” [my translation].

Keys allow you to access the purpose of the object they are applied. The purpose of a house is for living in it. A key can open the door to enter or close it shut. If it is a car, a key can start it or shut it off. If it is a post office box, a key can unlock or lock it. Keys are all about accessing the intended purpose.

Jesus’ keys are for the purpose of entering the realm of the King. Jesus’ kingdom keys allow access to the space where God rules and reigns. This is where things are as they should be and whatever is brought into God’s realm is made right.

I love Eugene Peterson’s take on Jesus’ words in Matthew, “You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”

Most of us here can tell a story of how someone used their key to give us access to the kingdom. The prevailing power of the church is based upon sharing access with others. What will you open, close, start, stop, unlock, or lock with the keys you’ve been given?

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The 10 Most Real Minutes of Sunday

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10 Minutes

 

The time during church that makes the greatest impression on a visitor is 10 minutes right after the service. These are the most authentic minutes of the morning. Why? Because for the vast majority of churches, no one has a role at this point. The stage is vacant. The ushers concluded their duties when they took everyone’s money. If the pastor doesn’t really want to talk to anyone, he busies himself in a comfortable conversation with friends. The children volunteers are relieved the parents are rescuing them. The show is over and the expectations are off. Everyone can just be themselves.

 

For visitors, though, this is when the lasting impression is made. First impressions are important, but the last impression is the lasting impression. This is the point when visitors are answering the questions they have been asking themselves: Will I find any friends here? Are the people here genuine? Is this a place I could really belong? They may have just sat through a great show, but now they are concluding whether it was all real.

 

In a recent book titled What Every Pastor Should Know, there is a short chapter that talks about The Ten Minute Rule. It highlights why these 10 minutes are so important with people’s comments about recent church visits:

 

“It’s the last thing I experienced and the most vivid memory I drove away with.”
“It confirmed the experience I had had before and during the service.”
“It told me a lot about the priorities of that church.”
“When no one talked to me after the service, it made a mockery of the ‘friendship time’ during the service.”

 

Here are some things you can do if you recognize your church is missing the opportunity with visitors during these 10 minutes:

 

  1. Remind everyone to greet someone they don’t know. We are naturally self-occupied. A little reminder can go a long way of snapping us out of ourselves.
  2. Organize row-hosts. Most congregants sit in the same place every week. If your church doesn’t charge a pew-tax, at least give the settlers a job to do. Row-hosts know if there is a visitor within ear-shot it is their responsibility to talk to them.
  3. Have an after-service host. A lot of churches have greeters at the door before the service. What about a team of greeters after the service? They can be tasked with presenting a gift to a visitor, asking for contact information, or carrying a tray of small snacks to offer a guest.
  4. Provide an ice-breaker question. Before dismissing, suggest a silly conversation starter, like, How long will your nap be this afternoon? Who will win the game? What is your favorite _____?

 

Put yourself in the shoes of the guest. The greatest hope is the person meets with God. At the very least, though, the person should meet God’s people. May no one ever come into the gathering of God’s people and leave lonely.

 

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30 Ways To Bless Your Workplace

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Josh Reeves:

I have compiled 30 ideas for engaging people in your workplace. The workplace is an everyday context where many people spend the majority of their time. It is important for us to know what it looks like to bring gospel intentionality to our jobs.

1. Instead of eating lunch alone, intentionally eat with other co-workers and learn their story.

2. Get to work early so you can spend some time praying for your co-workers and the day ahead.

3. Make it a daily priority to speak or write encouragement when someone does good work.

4. Bring extra snacks when you make your lunch to give away to others.

5. Bring breakfast (donuts, burritos, cereal, etc.) once a month for everyone in your department.

6. Organize a running/walking group in the before or after work.

7. Have your missional community/small group bring lunch to your workplace once a month.

8. Create a regular time to invite coworkers over or out for drinks.

9. Make a list of your co-workers birthdays and find a way to bless everyone on their birthday.

10. Organize and throw office parties as appropriate to your job.

11. Make every effort to avoid gossip in the office. Be a voice of thanksgiving not complaining.

12. Find others that live near you and create a car pool.

13. Offer to throw a shower for a co-worker who is having a baby.

14. Offer to cover for a co-worker who needs off for something.

15. Start a regular lunch out with co-workers (don’t be selective on the invites).

16. Organize a weekly/monthly pot luck to make lunch a bit more exciting.

17. Ask someone who others typically ignore if you can grab them a soda/coffee while you’re out.

18. Be the first person to greet and welcome new people.

19. Make every effort to know the names of co-workers and clients along with their families.

20. Visit coworkers when they are in the hospital.

21. Bring sodas or work appropriate drinks to keep in your break room for coworkers to enjoy. Know what your co-workers like.

22. Go out of your way to talk to your janitors and cleaning people who most people overlook.

23. Find out your co-workers favorite music and make a playlist that includes as much as you can (if suitable for work).

24. Invite your co-workers in to the service projects you are already involved in.

25. Start/join a city league team with your co-workers.

26. Organize a weekly co-working group for local entrepreneurs at a local coffee shop.

27. Start a small business that will bless your community and create space for mission.

28. Work hard to reconcile co-workers who are fighting with one another.

29. Keep small candy, gum, or little snacks around to offer to others during a long day.

30. Lead the charge in organizing others to help co-workers in need.

30 Ways To Bless Your Workplace | Planting A Gospel>Community.