Salty Church Parties

Be Salty is our space to season our words with salt. It's a place to bring flavor, color, and spice to the lives we live. A place to brag a little on the wonderful works of God right here in our plain 'ole lives.  Today's guest post is from my friend Jennifer. She is a ministry rock star, the sweetest soul you'll ever meet, and she make me laugh so hard I start leaking from certain parts of my body. (My eyes, duh!) 

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I have a high schooler at home.  It makes me nostalgic to my high school years in a “remember that incredibly awkward time” kind of way.  It seems so long ago, but at the same time really not that long ago.

In high school I took a business class.  In an effort to teach personal finance, our teacher paired us up for a project.  We picked careers and were assigned salaries.  The guy I was paired and I with picked CPA, and we ended up having the nicest brick house in our class.  It was a safe life that I imagined in that high school class.  A life in the suburbs.

God had other plans.  His path lead me to ministry in the downtown of a city.  It was nothing I could have imagined or dreamed up.

I am so thankful I ended up where I am.

Jesus offers the best path.

Jesus offers clean feet and pure hearts.

I can’t offer that.  I can only hope to make people thirsty for it.

I do that by being salt.

“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”  Colossians 4:4-5 ESV

My favorite church outsiders are children.  I guess God knew what He was doing putting me in children’s ministry.

This spring break, our Citychurch youth lead an outreach in the park.  We sat up jumpers, drug out hula hoops, sidewalk chalk, kites, and balls.  Our guest speaker fired up the grill.  He had the whole park filled with the ravishing smell of burgers.

Those burgers wouldn’t be good without salt and all the fixings.

We seasoned the burgers and everything else in that park with salt, because that’s what we have to offer.

As I played with the children that had walked over from the apartment buildings across the street, a little girl with flip flops, purple pajama pants, and blond wavy hair blowing in the Amarillo wind skipped up to me.  “This is my first church party,” she giggled as she made her declaration.

I quizzed her on her name.  She said, “I’m Kayla.  Guess what?  I’m still 5.”  She pointed  south, “That’s where my house is.”  Then she pointed to the elementary school that was next to the park, “And that’s my school.”

“Are you in Kindergarden?” I asked.

“No, I’m in Pre-K, and I’m still 5,” she answered.

Kayla doesn’t know how dirty her feet are yet, running in her pj pants through the dirt, grass, and sidewalk chalk.

Someday she will.

We have already started being salt to Kayla, because now she associates church with parties, full bellies, and loving people.

I know she will have more chances to hear about Jesus this summer.  A Citychurch van will come to her home, feed her, and take her to summer Bible clubs.  In the fall, she can attend the weekly Bible club across the street from her school.

Someday I pray she will see His Light.

Kayla and I chatted.  Her little voice so sweet, high pitched.  She already knows darkness.  She tells me, “You know what?  My brother has a movie.  The Grudge.  I hate it.  I wish I could get rid of it.”

I pray I get the chance to show her the Light that Jesus offers.

How will she ever seek it, if we are not city on a hill to her?

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 ESV

I thank God for His grace to me.  I thank God that he lead my life down a different life path than I imagined.  His path didn’t lead me to the suburbs.  It lead me to meeting Kayla that day in the park.

The way I put that thankfulness into action is grace towards those who haven’t found the Way yet.

Jesus offers the Way.

I was shown grace, so to others, my ways must be gracious.

There were plenty of opportunities to be ungracious in that park that day.  I could have scolded Kayla for watching horror movies.  We could have been strict with our portions as we served food.  We could have been greedy with our toys and sidewalk chalk.

We do our best to imitate His grace to the world.  In that respect, we are clumsy children, trying to be like our Father.

His grace allows our grace.  The glory belongs to Him.

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