With the rainy, windy weather we have been having, I have noticed an uptick in windsurfers around the fringes of St. Pete. From our house, it’s an easy walk to the north shore where sails of every size and color attach to boards and brave souls get lifted and carried by the wind. Some of those folks are really, really good at it and have obviously sunk some time, talent, effort, and some serious money into being serious wave riders. On other days, the Bay is still and the wind is calm – that’s when you paddle and kayak your way around. But when the wind and chop show up, so do those brave souls prepared to take on all that it has to offer.
Oddly, congregational life is like that. There are seasons, and some of those can be rather balmy and still. Others are like waves crashing and wind whipping, blowing in all sorts of opportunity. I believe we are in the beginning of such a season at FBC. Let me tell you why. There is a convergence of people showing up with a desire to grow, serve, and belong. It is happening at a time when we are taking a fearless inventory of our aim and ability to prepare a place before them. God is sending new leadership, both gifted ministers, and emerging lay leaders. Some are showing up. Some are rising up. It all points to the fact that God is up to something. Winds are blowing, waves are turning. We don’t want to miss it.
To that end, let me point to a couple of things ahead. On July 16, we will welcome Aimee and Jason Hobbs to the team and family. Pray for them as they say goodbye to the good people of Charlotte and make their way down here to live, lead, and love among us. When they arrive, we would like to give them a reception in the Narthex after the service. Let’s load them up with gift cards of our favorite St. Pete places. That generous, welcoming expression will be a great one, but I trust will be surpassed by our collective support for her ministry. There will be many calls to rise up and serve in the new ministry opportunities that will be rolling in. Again, don’t miss the wave.
Also, pray hard about new LIFE Groups, Bible studies, and other connecting points for our people. Simply said, we don’t have enough of our people connected meaningfully beyond worship. And that has a lot to do with the fact that we are in need of new places and people for them to plug in with. That especially goes for new folks looking in. Like the childhood toy Legos – you can only connect a piece where there is a place to plug in. More places call for more people willing and able to create these connecting points. If we do that well – and I suspect we will – FBC will be a different place in a few months. More people. Richer relationships. Greater engagement. Deeper discipleing. More ministry. You get the picture. It’s blowing out there. Sails up; don’t miss it.