I’ve picked up a new hobby. I am now taking pictures for our local paper on Friday nights at our football games. I’ve never done photography, other than being a dad/pastor with my iPhone. That said, there is a really good reason I’ve picked up this new pursuit.
As a pastor, I tend to spend all day around church people. I wake up, go to the office, respond to pastoral needs, and occasionally spend time civically as the pastor of FBC Vidalia. My heart, though, is not to just be the pastor of the people in my church but instead to serve and reach my community for Jesus Christ.
It may sound odd, but it is very hard for a pastor to reach unchurched people in his community. Why? Most of my time and life is spent at the church or with church people, leaving me little time to build relationships outside of our body.
I had been looking for a way to serve my city without being “the pastor.” I wanted to find a way to love Vidalia as a good citizen. As a friend.
When a friend asked me to take pictures of our team’s football games, I jumped at the opportunity. Getting involved with our local sports teams is an opportunity for me to serve our city and build relationships outside of our church.
Our city needs First Baptist Church. Our city needs the people of First Baptist Church to be outside the walls of our church. We need the people of our church to serve and build relationships in our community.
In recent weeks, I have talked a lot about reaching your “one” with the gospel. For you, this might be a daunting task. My guess is that a great majority of our church spends a great majority of their time with church people and doing church things.
I absolutely want you to make church a priority, but I also want you to make our mission a priority. If we are going to reach our city, we need to build relationships with people in our city. We need to serve our city.
I’ve mentioned a few times over the past couple of weeks that I would love for you to pick up a new hobby. That said, I would love for your new hobby to be with people who don’t go to FBC Vidalia. Why? For us to connect people to God, we must know people who are not connected to God.
I enjoy getting to take pictures of our city’s students on Friday nights. It is fun to capture big hits and great performances. That said, my goal is to serve my city, build relationships, and magnify Christ through a new hobby.
My great desire is that both you and I can serve and know our city so that they might know our savior.