Pride is a funny thing. We’re allowed to be proud of our accomplishments, but usually only to a certain point. We’ve all met the person who spends too much time talking about his accomplishments, and we usually try to avoid long conversations with them. But when you’re proud of your kids for something they’ve done, that seems more palatable (unless you’re that obnoxious parent whose kid has always done something better than whatever my kid has just done – seriously, no one likes a one-upper so just stop it).
This past Saturday at our annual Block Party, I felt like my heart would explode with pride in the people of New Life. I was like a parent who just watched their kid score the game-winning goal, or whose kid just performed the instrumental solo during the band concert, or whose kid just brought home a report card filled with straight A’s.
Most of my time on Block Party day is usually spent walking around the grounds. I try to introduce myself to as many of our guests as I can, and try to make sure our volunteers have everything they need, which means running to get waters, or coffees, or food when it’s needed. The advantage of that is I get to see a lot of what’s happening all over the grounds, and to hear from a lot of guests about their impressions of our church and our event.
Let me tell you, they were really impressed.
No one mentioned the grounds, or the building, or how great the food was (even though it DID taste great), or how high quality the bounce houses were. But they did mention over and over again how high quality the PEOPLE were. I heard dozens of guests mention that you were all so friendly, and so helpful, and that you were offering water and food, and helping them find their way from one activity to the next. They talked about how impressed they were that we would do all of this without charging them anything.
The highest compliments for me came from the staff who were working the Rock Spot wall. One of the guys said that this was the best event that he had worked all season, and another mentioned that every time they needed something, someone from the church was making sure they had it – food, water, coffee. While I’d love to say that we had an organized plan to make sure that happened, I think the truth is even better. The truth is we didn’t need to TELL any of you to make sure guests were welcomed, and water was offered, and everyone was treated with kindness. You did that all on your own. You didn’t need to be told to do it, you just did it because you know that’s what Jesus would have done.
And that makes me the proudest pastor on the planet. Thanks for representing Jesus and New Life so well!
Photos courtesy of Alba Lumos Photography. We will be sharing all the event photos next week, so stay tuned!