Time You Enjoy Wasting is Not Wasted Time

Author: Pastor Pranitha Fielder
April 25, 2019

One of my favorite ministry memories from 2019 thus far was seeing a grown man, in a suit, sitting on my living room floor, with his legs stretched out in front of him like a boy, and engaging  in conversation on a Sabbath afternoon. I had seen this gentleman often at Church and various ministry gatherings; he was always dignified, pulled together, friendly and pleasant. But on this day, I got to know him in a way that I had not in years past. 

On a Sabbath in January we had a gathering of the Journey Group Leaders and Hosts. We get together once a quarter to assess, review and plan for the next session of Journey Groups. However, this gathering was unlike any we had experienced together. Why? Because, instead of gathering at Church, instead of having a meeting while we ate; this time we gathered in my home, and we socialized while we ate. 

There were 25 people in my home sitting around tables, on couches or on the floor (even in their Sabbath best!), moving from room to room or migrating from conversation to conversation. There was no agenda, no meeting, no notetaking, no planning. This could have been seen as wasted time. We are all so busy; there is so much to be done, so much ministry to plan, so many things to do. Surely, we could have met and discussed ministry while we ate; kill two birds with one stone so to speak. However, getting together in a home and with no agenda, except to be with each other and socialize, opens people up in a different way. It is not wasted time. While we have had good camaraderie working together, this was different. This was bonding! It was refreshing and energizing! 

We had accomplished a lot in our meetings over the last year, but that Sabbath in January we accomplished something deeper and ultimately more important. We got to know each other as more than ministry leaders, or church members; we got to know each other as people. We shared our stories, our experiences, our histories; even our recipes and exercise goals. 

That Sabbath gathering inspired me and others in that group to do this more regularly and intentionally. Every month this year, I’ve had a different ministry team to my home or met in their home . People I have known or seen for years and others I have worked with for years are now a bit closer and better known because we met over a meal in a home to socialize. This was easy to do when I was Youth and Young Adult Pastor; it was a natural part of ministry because students have schedules and lives that are far more flexible. It is certainly more difficult coordinating adult lives and calendars, but it is just as valuable, if not more so. 

I know many leaders and members in Sligo who already do this and have experienced the benefits of sharing a meal in their homes. If you have not, I encourage you to invite your ministry teams, your Sabbath School classes, your parishes, your pew friends, or members you’d like to get to know, to your home, for a meal, with no agenda.


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