I am at the Basics Conference, hosted by Parkside Church, for a few days this week. Usually when I go to a conference, I try to write a short summary of how I was impacted from each of the speaking sessions. But this time, I am going to try to pick one thought that impacted me in the context of how I relate to others. I want to share what I am learning relationally through this conference.
As I shared yesterday, this is a time of meeting up with friends. When I walked into the conference, I immediately ran into several people I have not seen in a while. It was good to talk with them for a few minutes, catch up on their ministries, and enjoy a laugh or two. I love that.
But the one thing that struck me relationally yesterday has to do with prayer. In his evening session, Thabiti Anyabwile taught on 1 Timothy 2:1-7. At the beginning of the message, he was articulating from the first two verses, on what the pastor should pray.
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way."
He said that we should be praying all sorts of prayers for all sorts of people. It made me think of how I pray for all the different people in my life. Or, maybe, I should say that it made me think of how little I pray for all the different people in my life. On some level, we would all say that praying for each other is certainly relational. But if we are honest with ourselves, it doesn't feel that way very often. The fact that I pray for you or you pray for me doesn't feel very relational when you or I don't know that we are praying for each other. That is why his suggestion of writing a short email to everyone in his church he is praying for really helped me.
And then this morning, I remembered something else that happened yesterday. I received an email from a friend I had met at a conference a couple of years ago. In the email, he expressed how his church would like to pray for me and our church this week. That spoke volumes of his care for me and our church.
Maybe one way to relate to others is to pray for them; communicate you pray for them (not in a boastful way); and then follow up with their needs in their life to see how they are doing. I can't imagine that wouldn't draw people together.
What do you think? Do you think if someone did that for you, it would make you feel special and cared for? Then why don't we do it? Why don't I do it? Hopefully I will start to do more of that sort of relating with others.