A couple of weeks ago now, I was part of a team ministering to those attending the Mind, Body, Spirit exhibition at the Horticultural Halls near Victoria in London. It was fantastic being able to bless people who are looking to meet their spiritual needs at such an event with a free massage and Ruach or Jesus Deck card reading. Over the five days of the festival, many commented that in an environment where everyone was trying to sell something, we offered something different. However, what I also enjoy about these opportunities for demonstrating God’s love to spiritual seekers, is working alongside other Christians with a similar understanding of mission. We are sharing a desire to be a foretaste of God’s abundant life for what many church goers would consider unlikely people in potentially harmful situations. I had some wonderful conversations with Reiki healers, a tarot card reader and Yoga instructor. These are often the people who care for the most vulnerable in our society, as well as the planet we share. They are seeking to use what has helped them, to bring hope and healing to others. It is always amazing to see where God is already at work in their lives and partner with the Holy Spirit to bring a little more recognition of His grace to them.
Some of the people I value most in my life are partners with me in this work and often the chance for me to give to spiritual seekers is also an opportunity for me to feel blessed and encouraged in a ministry that many Christians are critical and fearful of. As is often the case, I came across a concept in a book that has helped me to understand what is going on in these ministry situations. Michael Frost in ‘Exiles’ says of creating community, “We build community incidentally, when our imaginations are captured by a higher, even nobler cause. Though it took me a while, I came to realise that Christian community results from the greater cause of Christian mission.” (p.108) I think this is such a valuable lesson and one that our churches urgently need to learn. He goes on, “…aiming for community is a bit like aiming for happiness. It’s not a goal in itself. We find happiness as an incidental by-product of pursuing love, justice, hospitality and generosity. When you aim for happiness, you are bound to miss it. Likewise with community. It’s not our goal. It’s a by-product of pursuing something else. Those who love community destroy it, but those who love people build it.” This sums up perfectly what I got out of working with Dekhomai at the Mind, Body, Spirit event. It is what I experience every time I join with Eden People for events in Guildford and it is my hope and expectation for the missional community that is being created here in Kingston. My prayer is, thank you Lord for those I partner with in mission and please help us to love people as you have loved us, so that true community might be built and your Kingdom will come!