When I was young, I remember playing the old game of Concentration with my grandmother. It looked just like this picture. You took turns flipping tiles and had to find the matching pieces. Anyone else remember when it was on tv? <Cough>, oh yeah, me neither.
I am grateful for my church. It has been a good place for me and I have developed many friendships there. As with any body, there are always growing pains. One thing discussed at our small group tonight was that our church lacks glue. We do not have an assimilation leader or team, and therefore it can be difficult for people to get connected in the church and with other people, especially for those who are hurting or shy.
Of course the best solution is to pray about this. But instead of waiting for a committee to enact legislation, maybe it would be better to take a systemic approach. What if people just started taking it upon themselves to look for one person in church that day who they could help or just get to know.
What if a pastor took a moment during church and said something like this:“Take a moment and look around you. Every person you see needs something and also has something to give. Some people need more, some have more to give, but everyone has and needs something. Your mission, just like a giant game of Concentration, is to find out where the pieces fit.”
This mission would be primarily for before or after church and during the week, as during church we should all be worshipping and listening to God together, but the rest of the time are we not called to find out where we each fit as cells in the body of Christ? It is only when we are all working together that we will truly fulfill our mission as the Church.
In heaven we will all know and be known, and we will all worship as one voice. In preparation for that, shouldn’t we be attempting to know and unite with each other? Instead of waiting for a committee to make a system, if even a handful of people just started getting to know more people and their needs, that would spread, and people would be helped and encouraged, and from there leaders would step forth and systems would be created. Jesus didn’t wave his hand and heal entire villages, He went person to person, and on that Rock He built His Church.
Jesus knows every detail about every person. He knows what is underneath every tile, and He knows where all the matching pieces are. If we ask Him to show us who we can help and who He wants us to get to know today, wouldn’t He do just that?
When you find your matching piece, you win. And the cool part is that the game continues. As dynamic beings, our tiles (needs, states of mind, ) morph as we grow. So once you find a matching person for a moment or season, keep your eyes open for the next one, and develop a great collection of friends as you go.