God is Love, Love is Good News
By Abigail Parker Hererra and Chris Wilterdink
There is a glazed porcelain tile that hangs above the sink in my mother’s house. Between two roughly colored yellow blobs is the following phrase, “To love and to be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” That image is burned into my memory. Whether I’ve recognized it or not, that sentiment has driven so many of my relationships in ministry.
God is love, and because God first loved us, we are called to share God’s love with everyone. We are to treat each other with care and respect. We are to bring good news that God loves us into all places we occupy. That attitude should undergird any efforts to see all the people. In her role as a Deacon at a new church start in Austin, TX – Abby has seen the role that love can play in the growth and development of a church within a community. Check out these two posts from her in the sidebar on the right side of the page. Afterwards, consider taking some time to reflect on a few questions, especially if you are a leader!
- When have you learned about the faith life, or church affiliation, of someone in your community? How did that conversation start? How could you make conversations like that more regular?
- Do you ever feel like an “undercover” person of faith? How do you make your faith known in words and actions in your community?
- Have you ever been discovered, or outed, as an active and practicing Christian? Has that affected any relationships or connections in your community?
- Do you ever feel worried what people will think of you if they know you are a Christian? Are there questions people may ask you as a Christian that you are afraid to answer?
- How well do you know the members of your congregation? Of your community?
- How do you support your congregation and community with your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness?
- Of the 10 suggestions in the “kindling” blog post, which one would be the easiest to adopt in your congregation? Which would be the most difficult? Why?
- Name a time that you have felt loved by your community.
- Name a time and tell a story about a time when you provided love to your community.