by Joe Valenti, Associate Pastor of Youth and Missions
Did you pastors really cancel church (6:30PM service) for a football game?! Seriously!?
Yes – yes we did. And we’re proud of it!! Let me explain…
I’m an introvert. That may seem odd to many of you because you often see me on stage preaching, leading youth events, etc.. But, I have all of those things prepared. Talking with people on the spot is not my greatest skill. I prefer to read books, hang out with my family, and keep only a few close friends. Pastor Chad, on the other hand, is an extrovert. It seems like every time we are together in a meeting or catch each other in the hall, he has a story about someone that he is connecting with in his community. He is good with people face-to-face, easy to talk to, and seems to have no fear striking up a conversation. Not me!
You can ask my neighbor Darren – he’ll tell you how awkward I am.
This makes it hard for me to be a LifeHouse. What we mean at CVC when we talk about being a LifeHouse is being intentional to invite people to new life in Christ in our neighborhood by getting to know them, serving them, and caring about them in order that we might have the opportunity to share the good news with them. Pastor Rick has often said, “we do good works to create good will so that we can share the good news.”
As an introvert, I need a little help getting to know my neighbors. I look for good excuses to talk with them – fishing, lawn care, cluttered garage problems. One of the reasons that I love winter is because snow gives me an easy way to love my neighbors. I love toting my snow blower around in the back of my truck looking for the poor soul who is out shoveling. Just the other day I got to meet Todd – a neighbor at the top of my street – because his snow blower had broken down. I need excuses to engage my neighbors because I stink at doing it naturally.
- Need a hand with that project, Ralph? I’m your man!
- Can we watch your kids so you two can go on a date? Valenti’s to the rescue!
- Car got stuck in the snow? Give me a second, and I’ll hook up my tow rope!
Maybe you’re like Pastor Chad and connecting with people comes naturally to you. If so – AWESOME!
But maybe you’re like me and you have to think REALLY hard about ways to be a LifeHouse.
Enter Superbowl. (cue epic music)
The Superbowl is a super easy way to get to know some neighbors.
Let me explain the benefits.
- Inviting people over for the Superbowl is easy. If you are really shy, make a flyer and stick it in every door on your street!
- Watching the game provides an interesting conversation dynamic. Holding a conversation with people you don’t know really well can be daunting. But if the game is on, the onus is not on you to hold a 3 hour conversation! You watch, eat, chat, watch some more, chat, eat some more…you get the point.
- If you have kids, this is a great opportunity for them to get to know one another.
- I don’t know about you, but my appetizer game is really strong. It’s a spiritual gift. Having people in your home gives you the opportunity to show hospitality! Can’t cook? Order Pizza!
- By the end of the party, you’ll know names and faces and probably some stories. NOW you have some common ground to have conversations in the yard and on the sidewalk. Now you have context to invite them over again or invite their kids over to play!
But I don’t like football, Pastor Joe. Good thing this whole plan has nothing to do with football! It has everything to do with taking advantage of a silly game so that you can get to know your neighbors. Yeah – take that NFL – we’re using you for Kingdom work *evil laugh* And when you get to know your neighbors you can begin to build relationships with them. And when you build relationships with them you can share Jesus with them. See how this all works?
Football Schmootball – that’s what I say! So, fire up that phone, or jump on Facebook messenger, or print out some flyers and get some people invited to this shindig at your house! It sounds like its going to be a blast!