Last summer Pastor Tom asked us to consider starting small groups in our homes. The idea was that the disciples broke bread together and spent time in fellowship, and the results were amazing. The groups were given the name “LIfeGroup” and we planned to meet twice a month. Along with that plan were to spend one week a month living sent. I thought it might be interesting to share an experience of living sent that I have enjoyed since this all started.
When I found myself retired, suddenly all the excuses I had for not being a part of the community vanished. Throughout my life I have these wonderful memories of mission trips, youth events, service projects and small group get-togethers. There may be three years in between each of these events, but in my memory they are all lumped together. Each holds a special place in my memory and bring me such joy.
When I found myself with some extra time I was approached by Maria and Bull Abboud who operate a local boxing gym. They told me about the Rock Steady boxing program that they were doing for people who are fighting Parkinson’s disease. Maria explained that there is always a need for volunteers to help with the program. So the next Thursday I threw on some sweatpants and headed for the gym. Not knowing or even having any idea what was expected of me I quietly figured I would sneak in quietly, hangout and try to see what this was all about. That plan lasted about twenty seconds. As I walked in the door, Bull jumped up and greeted me and introduced me to the few people that were already there. I had an opportunity to chat with a few of the people taking the class and before I knew it, I was helping with the workouts.
I knew absolutely nothing about boxing, or Parkinson’s for that matter, but that didn’t make any difference to anyone there. Before each class they sit in a circle of chairs facing each other and share. Sometimes it’s good news, sometimes it’s bad news. Quite often this sharing will end in prayer and a beach ball bouncing around the room. As time has passed, I have watched new people come into this group. To see how they are welcomed and integrated into the group is inspiring.
Hospitality has always been a challenge for churches, and visitors sometimes feel like they are left out of the loop. Small circles of friends talk before and after church never seeing the new person walking in the door. That never happens at Bullz. I have said since the beginning, that every church welcome team should spend a few days with this group.
I have been living sent at Rock Steady Boxing for over a year now. Once a week I put on the sweats and head out the door. It is one of the bright spots of my week and I now have people I didn’t know that are a big part of my life. Living sent has allowed me the opportunity to understand what my strengths and weaknesses are, and has blessed me with a whole bunch of people that I now call friends.
God has blessed each and every one of us with Spiritual gifts and it seems like such a waste if we bury these talents in a field. Living sent means that you sometimes do things that aren’t comfortable or easy. Living sent might make you face some of your insecurities, but the rewards are so worth it. This is just one example of how we can be a part of our community. Communities are filled with opportunities similar to these. It only takes a minute to find them, but the results can last a lifetime. #livesent