God is doing a new thing in my heart regarding our Wednesday Community Fellowship dinners at Grace. Each week over 150 guests (most of them homeless) come for dinner and a message of hope, and this is one of the ministries that I am responsible for in my role as Director of Outreach. I came in with high expectations of myself – I was going to cast vision and usher in transformation, taking this ministry to the “next level,” which in my mind meant fixing/saving our guests. The less that transformation happened, the more frustrated I became, feeling like I was failing and not knowing how to make things better. And so the dinner stopped being a simple act of kindness, a meal of hope. The dinner stopped being for me an opportunity to fellowship with friends that I have grown to know and love.
But lately I am letting go with expectations for change. I do deeply desire that my friends find work, find shelter, find healing and hope. I want to see their lives look different. But I cannot make that happen, and right now I am not receiving clear direction from the Lord on doing much differently on Wednesday nights. What God has been leading me to do seems so simple – have a couple of worship songs each week (and God provided someone to do that); involve guests more in the dinner (so we are having a guest pray each night for the meal and will soon do another testimony night in place of the message; give the guests a chance to pray over some of the requests we receive each week; pray with our church staff team each week for the prayer requests that come in. I am letting go of trying to fix and simply being available to love and enjoy our community.
That sounds really simple, and it sounds like I am not “doing anything.” But I think that this is the ministry God is giving us at Grace right now. Maybe everyone else who serves at WCF understood this already. But it’s taken me a while to see that it is what it is, and that’s OK.