Pastor Matt’s Blog for March

Dear Church Family,

You and I are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12: 2-3). There is a balance in this role (blessed…blessing). We receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, to His great praise and also to our profound benefit. Then out of the fullness we have received, there comes an overflow (1 Thessalonians 3:12). It’s not hard to see how this happens. The Holy Spirit within us has the same loving heart for the world as the Savior who sent Him.

I encourage you to take the B.L.E.S.S. model on which we’ve been focusing in the sermon series and make it our own. The series may be ending soon, but let’s adopt as a way of life, indeed a lifestyle to which
we hold ourselves accountable before God, who offers His faithful help every step of the way.

Here are a few practical things to “try on” as we each incorporate the model on a daily basis:

B . . . Begin with prayer
 Write down the names of two or three friends or family members who don’t have a relationship with Jesus
 Ask God to help you understand their world
 Be their “prayer stand-in” – pray for them as if they could pray for themselves
 Seek God for promptings on their behalf, how to share our church with them in a meaningful way
 Admit your fears and ask for boldness and guidance
L . . . Listen with care
 Give any three people your undivided attention this week
 Adopt R.E.A.D.
 R . . . repetition, repeating what people say so they feel heard
 E . . . emotions, relating back the emotions you are feeling in their sharing
 A . . . affirmation, affirming the true things you hear in their experience
 D . . . disclosure, disclosing your own thoughts only at the end
 Welcome interruptions. These are often Kingdom opportunities. Strain to listen to what the Spirit is saying
E . . . Eat together
 Invite someone to a meal, coffee, or other beverage
 Be open to receive hospitality yourself, as well as provide it
 Look for other ways to give “hospitality”
 Make a visit
 Offer a ride
 Give a simple phone call
 Send a text
S . . . Serve in love
 Ask, “How may I be of help to you?” and then follow up
 Be ready to go small in service — small and thoughtful can be better than big and showy
 Don’t compare your service to the service of others
 You have your own unique contribution to offer
 Leave the outcome to God — whether or not your service leads any where, or to a deeper relationship

S . . . Share your story
 How has your Christian journey helped you? That’s your story. That’s the story God is writing thought you
 Don’t assume people don’t care about your experience of God’s grace and salvation. If they like you, they’re
intrigued at some level by you
 Ask God daily to open doors of conversation
 The story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is the world’s best story. Period.
As the Spirit is poured into your heart, may God love through you. One Covenant pastor I know put it this way,
capturing the amazing impulse of the Spirit who dwells within, “We get to love others.” Ours is not a duty to
perform but a privilege to embrace and enjoy. We get to bless others.

Blessings to you,
Pastor Matt

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