I joked earlier this week that it is obvious that I do not come from a church going family. When ever I say I am going over to the church or I am going to church they respond, have fun. I can't remember the last time I went to church and had fun, unless it was a youth event. Maybe that is a whole different blog entry or conversation.
That's the thing though, I am active in the church. I try to make it most Sundays. Until recently I have volunteered in a variety of ways. I am going to Seminary in just a few weeks. People assume I want to be a Pastor, while I haven't ruled it out, it isn't my dream job. I would go into Parish Ministry to pay the bills, but I prefer to be out in the field somewhere. The point being, I am an oddity both in my family and the circles we run in. People misunderstand what it is I do all the time. My older brother gives me a hard time every chance he gets.
What I am just realizing though is for those people who live locally and whom I am surrounded by, I am the church. I am what they see as representing the church. I have always tried to be aware of how I act in public because I know I have about 50 teenagers out there in town at any given point. All of whom I have drilled in how to treat people and how to love people. If I told them be kind to everyone, even the smelly kid and then I berate the cashier in a store, it doesn't look good for me.
Although most people around me do not attend church, they often think of the church I attend when they need something church-y. So I guess I represent the church to them and I hope I represent it well. It seems that knowing me helps others feel comfortable with the idea of church. I guess that just speaks to the importance of relationships. I haven't recruited a single member but I think how I handle myself matters more than I ever realized. It's kind of late in the game.
Today I am grateful that my life can at times represent the church to people.
May you be blessed with knowing you are loved.