God’s SAF(E) Plan for Community


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God’s SAF(E) Plan for Community

How do we develop a resurrection community where we live, work, and learn? Confronted with their own mortality, and threatened with their lives, the disciples traveled from the place of worship (temple) to the place of work, family, and school (house) in Jerusalem. They didn’t become defensive or anxious. They didn’t develop strategy. They just took the threats as a signal that Christ was working in their lives. They developed a Way of ministering to people in the “precious ordinary.” That’s Kent Haruf’s term for the routines of life. What some people consider mundane the apostles considered momentous.

I suggested in my sermon Sunday that we need a plan to intentionally implement this pattern wherever God has placed us. You have to start somewhere, so here are a few suggestions to begin. I’ve called it a SAF(E) plan.

S – Spontaneous traditions
All of us have routines. We check the mail, walk the dog, get the paper, have lunch on Sundays. Build spontaneity into your traditions with strangers. Create an open space for new people in the routines of life.

A – Available lives
The disciples made themselves available and accessible to other people. They moved from the back yard into the front yard. They opened themselves to others and risked relationship. We can do the same. Get home in time to be available to your neighbors. Summer is a great time to walk around to see how folks are doing. Of course, they will wonder what you’re up to. That’s why you’re making yourself available to them. Check on the widow who lost her husband down the street. Invite the lonely co-worker to join you in the breakroom for lunch.

F – Frequent contact
We need to spend quantities of quality time with family, friends, co-workers. Simplify your schedule to invite people into your world. Follow up with notes to let people know that you love and care for them.

E – Energy
“E” was not part of the sermon Sunday, but Jim Barger suggested “energy.” I like it. We have the power of Christ working in us. That’s all the energy we need. Use it to let people know that you care.

God has given you to this place. Make the most of the opportunity.