In about a month there is going to be a large family reunion of sorts in Indianapolis, Indiana. The family reunion is also called General Assembly and Conventions for the Church of the Nazarene. There will be representatives there from many different countries and speaking many different languages. We gather together every four years. There will be times of worship, teaching, preaching, business, and meetings. But there will also be great times of fellowship.
I have been thinking a lot about fellowship lately. Mostly when we fellowship we tend towards fellowshipping with people we know, or people that look like us, or talk like us or have the same views as us. We are unsure about what to talk about when fellowshipping with people who are different from us. There is awkward small talk, it is not comfortable. It is just easier to catch up with old friends and talk about the good memories.
Wouldn’t it be great if all of us that are attending General Assembly stepped outside of our comfort zone and tried to make friends with someone you don’t know? We are all excited about seeing old friends, college buddies, and people we went to church with. But also be intentional about making friends of people who are not from your Country or Region. Make friends with someone from a country you have never been to and maybe never even heard of. For those of you attending the whole event there are lots of meal times, consider going to lunch or dinner with your new friend. If you see someone sitting by themselves at a restaurant around the convention center ask if you can join their table and find out more about them. Talk about all the things that are the same and different in your countries, talk about similarities and differences in your churches.
Many people who are there have saved for four years to be able to come. Some have never been to the US before. Some have never been on a plane before coming to General Assembly. No matter how well traveled or where they are from we can all learn from each other. All of us have testimonies of how God has provided for us, protected us, …
We can encourage and enrich each other by sharing our stories of God’s faithfulness. That is part of what General Assembly is all about. If we say we are a Global Church then we have to get to know our brothers and sisters across the aisle, across the border and across the ocean.
I have been so enriched by being a part of the Global Nazarene family. You can be too. We will all have nametags on, so go up and introduce yourself and find out more where others are from. You never know you may walk away from that time with a new friend that you can look forward to seeing next time we gather together again.
Until next time, remember pouring cinnamon on the ground is a good way to keep away the ants. (sometimes it happens by accident when you drop the cinnamon container and is shatters on the floor by the trash can)