Ask a lot of people in our comfortable, affluent, suburban area of Inverness what they need, and they’ll say, “Nothing. We’re fine”. At least, that was the biggest response when our church undertook a survey of our parish earlier this year.
So here’s a question for our church: “How do you share the gospel in a place like ours”? When God speaks to the world, He says that we all need something, and we’re all offered it. The Bible tells us we’re all in need of rescue from sin, and death, and other things that oppress and bind us; but that we’re all welcome to that rescue and release through Jesus Christ (see Romans Chapter 3 and Luke Chapter 4). How do people who don’t think they need anything, begin to hear that Jesus can meet their needs?
I wonder if there’s a failure of imagination on the part of comfortable affluent suburbia. To imagine a life of anything other than self-sufficient independence, and how that might be better. To imagine that we might need the richer relationships (and the time and money we save) by sharing lives and resources a little bit more than we do right now. To imagine that we might need the peace that comes from being able to depend a little bit more on other people around us, and from depending completely on the totally faithful God who calls us to trust Him.
When our church has facilitated community events and neighbourhood parties, people have come. And they’ve told us they want more of it. We’ve been invited as a church to keep doing things to ‘bring people together’. How best, as a church, can we help along that realisation of our need for God dependence, and interdependence? Well, I reckon it might start with Bob cutting my grass.
We might need the peace that comes from being able to depend … on other people … and on the totally faithful God who calls us to trust Him. Scott McRoberts, Go For It Committee
As I write this, my neighbour Bob is mowing my lawn. Now, I could mow my own lawn, but I’m pushed for time. I’ve got this blog to submit before it is any more overdue, and shopping to put away, and … well, let’s not go there with all the jobs that I have on my independent, self-sufficient, to-do list.
As I rushed in with the shopping, Bob offered to cut my grass. Now, what was the ‘Christian’ thing to do here? I decided it was to show a little humility, vulnerability, gratitude … and dependence. It was to say, “Yes please, Bob, I could really do with that”.
As I’ve let Bob in a little to help me, and shown my need of him, he’s shared things about his life, and where he needs to depend on others, and on God.
When, as a church, we demonstrate a little need for those around us, and a lot of need for God, others around us might open up about how they could really use our help, and how they could really do with all that God has to offer them, through Christ, and His people.
About the Author
Rev Scott McRoberts is minister at Inverness: St. Columba (New Charge Development) and a co-opted Committee member of the Church of Scotland’s Go For It Fund. Inverness: St. Columba used a Go For It Pilot Grant to fund a part-time Community Development Worker at the Living Room, which offers a range of early years and family support groups, to increase a sense of community in the local area.