Here at First Baptist Conroe, we have a vision I am so excited about. Over the next ten years, we will engage in 10,000 transforming relationships, working alongside the Spirit of God to bring peace to the chaos in our community, one heart, one family at a time. It’s going to take all of us to accomplish this. So we’re spending this entire year talking about it, showing from the Scriptures how God is constantly at work doing exactly this, telling stories of ways it’s already happening in and around us, and preparing all of our hearts to engage in these transforming relationships with our neighbors, friends and co-workers. But some of you are asking, what is a transforming relationship?
First of all, here’s what it’s not: It’s not being part of a lifegroup, a Bible study, a choir or worship band, or even leading a ministry like that. It’s not doing a random act of kindness for someone. It’s not donating school supplies or raising funds or doing charity work. It’s not even simply praying for someone. All of those are good things, things that we as Christians should be doing. But when we say engage in transforming relationships, we mean something different, something more personal. We created the term transforming relationship to describe a relationship that is intentional and focused on a need.
When I say intentional, here’s what I mean: When you choose to spend time investing in someone who no one expects you to invest in, that’s intentional. I’m not talking about your relationships with family or people you are already friends with, as important as that is. I’m talking about you choosing to invest in someone new, someone you wouldn’t choose to spend time with except for your desire to help them experience the love of Jesus. So we’re talking about people you work with, your neighbors, the families of your kids’ friends, the lady who cuts your hair, the guy who works on your car.
When I say focused on a need, I mean more than just finding someone with some common interests and hanging out with them. I mean seeing a need in someone’s life, and choosing to invest in them to see if we can help. Here are some examples:
–Mentoring a child at a local school
–Visiting an elderly neighbor once a week, because you notice that their family doesn’t seem to pay attention to them.
–You and your spouse meeting regularly with a couple who are newly married or having a hard time staying together, just to pray for them and encourage them.
–Helping guide a co-worker to make a budget and get out of debt.
–A Christian kid choosing to be a friend to the kid everyone else makes fun of.
Here’s another way to look at it. Most of us can think of someone outside our family who made a difference in our lives, who invested in us when we needed them, who taught us something that made us better or was there for us at a key moment. That was a relationship that changed your life. We’re challenging our members to be that person to someone else. Someday, someone will say, “Because this person chose to invest in me, I am a better person. I am happier. I am on the right track.”
Some of these relationships will lead to opportunities for our members to tell people about what Jesus has done for us. Some of them will be with people who are already Christians. But all of them will be opportunities to bring peace to the chaos in the lives of people we know.
Over the next ten years, we as a church staff will do what we can to find pathways for these kinds of relationships. For example, if you want to mentor a child in CISD, you can contact Project Mentor. That pathway already exists (although right now, volunteers aren’t allowed on local campuses…we know that’s only temporary). We will find others, and create some of our own. In the meantime, we’re asking you to pray that God would prepare your heart, and would show you someone He wants you to invest in. And pray that God would use us to bring peace to the chaos right here in Montgomery County.