Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ministry Sunday

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables. –Mark 4:1-2

I remember the day I read that passage. I had read it before. Many times. In seminary for sure. In Disciple Bible Study. During my devotions. But this day was in the spring of 2006. I looked out the office window at my house. I could see the trees getting green. The traffic was busy on Harrison Street. A few snow piles still remained. The kids were walking on the sidewalk taking the journey from school to home. I read it again and again.

Getting read to serve at The Water's Edge

The Water’s Edge Leadership team was struggling to find a name for our yet-to-be-formed congregation. I was pretty sure that was it: The Water’s Edge. The dream was to gather believers and non-believers and anybody else at the water’s edge to hear the teachings of Jesus. I had experienced and I had observed what the teachings of Jesus do: they change things. 

I was so excited for people to gather and connect and grow by hearing the teaching’s of Jesus at The Water’s Edge so that we would all be equipped and inspired to love, give, forgive, and serve. I knew a bunch of people who encounter the teachings of Jesus would never be the same again.

I sit in a different office now. It’s quite a nice one. The hard work of some men in the church and the generosity of hundreds of families made our ministry center possible. I hear the kids playing next door. The sun is setting. It’s Friday afternoon and I’m looking at the beautiful colors at the Lake Zorinsky preserve. God has outdone Himself today. Sunday is ministry Sunday. I think about how far we have come since that spring afternoon almost a decade ago.

Mentoring kids at Release Ministries and The Hope Center. Collecting food for Together Omaha. Serving people in Belize and Uganda. Welcoming guests. Leading worship. Setting-up and tearing-down chairs. Holding babies. Making blankets. Stuffing envelopes. Counting money. WE Serve. Leading small groups. Serving donuts and coffee. Serving on our media team. Teaching children. Serving communion. Leading students on mission trips all over the country. Serving on one of our leadership teams. Coordinating volunteers. I could go on and on…but I can’t exceed 500 words.

As good as these ten years have been; the next ten will be better. We will transition from temporary facilities to a permanent home. The Water’s Edge. The place where people will gather and connect and grow by hearing the teaching’s of Jesus so that we are equipped and inspired to love, give, forgive, and serve.

To everyone who has ever served in any way…I am grateful for you!

The best is yet to come…


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