My last post about Jazzercise reminded me of something important.
In addition to the physical and emotional benefits of doing Jazzercise, I realize that it's a community of mine, and an important one, even though I don't have any close friends who attend there. Going there makes me feel happy: I am with positive people who are doing something good for themselves, taking time away from their busy schedules to do so. They are an example to me!
I have been thinking a lot about community in recent weeks, especially after the RevGals BE and conversations about what is community, what is church. What is ours to do about our friends who don't attend a church and see no need to?
My friend, Rev. Teri Peterson (she blogs at Clever Title Here) preached an amazing sermon in January. You can read it here. AND, you can see her preach it here. Worth your listening time. The rest of this post won't make sense unless you watch or read...
After that Sunday, Teri expressed surprise and some concern afterward because many people told her it was "her best sermon ever." She didn't know what made it so good; in fact, she didn't think it was even in her top three. But I thought it was amazing.
Why did it whack ME between the eyes? Partly because she told her own personal story, which I happen to like as a homiletical tool. And partly because her story is really pretty fascinating and amazing, and she PREACHES THE WORD with it.
And partly it hit me: because of my BFF. She has attended some special music or holiday events at church with me, but she is an agnostic (raised Catholic). She is not interested in any church, anywhere. Not in a box, not with a fox.
She also will not drink the Jazzercise kool-aid with me. I've invited her to try it many times, but she is sure she would hate it; she doesn't like that kind of exercise, she likes to go to the gym. Okay, I can respect that. I just mention it sometimes, when there is a special or free classes. Because, there are some other things I suggested to her, that she didn't think she would like, and they have turned out to work really WELL. (And some have NOT and that's a whole other story from Big Idea Woman...). And, selfishly, I'd love her to like it too, and go with me sometimes. (I cannot lie.)
Back to inviting people to church: I respect the fact that BFF is an agnostic. And so I don't invite her to come to regular services with me, because I don't want to offend her. Because that's not how I was raised, and I don't want be an "annoying Christian."
So if I am more willing to "evangelize" for Jazzercise than for church...what's that say?