By: Pastor Mike Van Boom
For the next several months, we as a church community are going to be reflecting on the Kingdom of God. Sometimes that will be in our sermons, or stories shared in our gatherings.
In his book, Surprise the World, Michael Frost shares five simple ways to share our faith and life with people outside the church. He calls them the habits of missional people. The five are:
For the next month, let’s begin by practicing the first simple habit: Blessing others.
The challenge here is for each of us to say, “I will bless three people this week – at least one of whom is not a member of our church.”
In describing the work of blessing someone, Michael Frost explains the etymology of the term: “to bless” is “to add strength to another’s arm.” In this respect, to bless others is to build them up, to fill them with encouragement for them to increase in strength and prosperity.” (Frost, p. 30)
Here are a couple suggestions he provides as what we might do to bless someone else.
1.Words of affirmation are the simplest way. “Send them a note, write an email, or text them. Let them know you’ve noticed something worthwhile about them.”
2.Acts of kindness. Babysit an exhausted couple’s kids. Help a neighbour move to a new house. You could even keep it secret! Ie. “I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out.” (Alcoholics Annonymous)
3.Give a gift. Make a meal for someone who could use it. Offer to do groceries for someone. Or just give something to someone randomly as a way to show you appreciate them. And of course, be prepared to share money as well if that will strengthen their arm.
Frost provides a word of caution about our motives. The goal of our blessing someone is not to convert them. He says “we are called to bless in order to bless.” We add strength to another person’s arm because that’s what followers of Jesus do. We need to be careful we are not holding inside us a manipulative agenda to convert someone. We also need to be wary we are truly blessing someone and not damaging them.
Sometimes gifts can send the wrong message.
If you’re worried about doing that, Pastor Mike is happy to talk and pray with you as you prepare
Becoming will help us infuse our lives with generosity, kindness and care. It will often do the same for my neighbour. Blessing others is a habit that followers of Jesus rightly practice in order to be his witnesses. It shows people Jesus’ love and kindness and generosity, and it shows them the Kingdom of God. So each week of this coming month, let’s practice this kingdom habit by taking up the following challenge:
Bless three people this week – at least one of whom is not a member of your church.