Heucks Retreat Newsletter 6/2/20

From Daniel’s Den…

Meeting Folks Where They Are”

Have you ever heard or used the phrase “meeting folks where they are?” While the expression may mean different things to different people, I think the gist of the statement focuses on the recognition that people come from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, cultures, parts of the country (or world), and traditions, etc. Because people are different, approaching everyone with a “one size fits all” mentality may not be appropriate or suitable.

I recall an occasion in the summer of 2012 when my oldest son was about to move to Eugene, OR to attend graduate school at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!). Dan and I visited Eugene in order to find him a place to live and to begin securing furnishings, etc. We visited an apartment that a UO faculty member typically rented to graduate students. The current tenants were two young men from Germany who were completing their master’s thesis with the prospects of graduating in August before moving back home to begin jobs in their country.

In an attempt to strike up a conversation, I asked these two students “How much do y’all lack?” When their only response was questioning eyes, I repeated my question “How much do y’all lack?” My son quickly intervened and said, “Dad, you can’t talk like that to them.” Thinking that he was referring to the pace of my speech and my use of “y’all,” I enunciated every word while using my best diction as I slowly asked, “How much do you lack?” The real problem was the fact that these two German students did not understand my use of “lack.” Once I learned that little tidbit, I asked “How long until you finish your paper?” In other words, I tried to meet these young men where they were in the area of understanding the English language (or at least my version of English).

Jesus made a habit of meeting people were they were. The Samaritan woman that he met at the well (John 4), the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), and Zacchaeus (Luke 19) are examples of Jesus’ approach to meeting people. In short, Jesus had a Posture of meeting people where they were. The woman at the well had numerous husbands in the past and she was not married to man with whom she was “associated” currently. Jesus talked to her about living water. The image presented regarding the adulterous woman is that the religious leaders caught her in the very act of adultery and dragged her to the temple courts to judge her and pronounce a sentence of death by stoning. At that extremely trying moment in her life, this woman encountered Jesus. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who used his office and position to steal from others. He was perched in a tree when he encountered Jesus and received the invitation to be Jesus’ host for the day.

As he met people where they were, Jesus made the building of relationships a Priority. Jesus established a relationship by talking to and spending time with those he encountered. Jesus exercised Patience as he developed the relationship. He did not criticize the Samaritan woman for her marital challenges or her current situation. He did not condemn the woman caught in adultery nor did he castigate Zacchaeus for his financial misconduct. Rather, Jesus had the Purpose of moving people from where they were (where He had met them with all faults, flaws, and foibles) to a direction that would be more positive for them and others. Reading the encounter that each of these three had with Jesus ushers forth the understanding that Progress was made in each of their lives. Everyone was touched in a significant way by their encounter with Jesus. The woman at the well went back to her village and told others what she had experienced. As a result, many Samaritans believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. The woman caught in adultery was not condemned by Jesus. Rather, he told her to “leave your life of sin.” Zacchaeus was so touched by his experience with Jesus that he pledged to make restitution for overcharging people in their tax payments. Jesus exclaimed “Today, salvation has come to this house…!”

While meeting people where they are (particularly when where they are is nowhere close to where  you may be) can be quite difficult, the potential for blessings for everyone involved is worth the effort. By approaching people with the proper Posture, making the establishment of a beneficial relationship the Priority, while exercising Patience  with Purpose in the pursuit of moving someone in a positive direction, then Progress will likely result. When the purpose for the encounter is introducing someone to Jesus, then the progress that may be forthcoming will certainly be positive, life-changing, and eternal. With joy in my heart, I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday as we meet where we are while looking forward to meeting together when we can safely all for the glory of God!

Daniel
 
 
Notes from Brett
 

Returning to Church

This past week, we announced our intention to return to church in the coming weeks.  While we can’t give a definite date just yet, know that when we’re ready to announce it, we’ll make sure you know.  In the mean time, check out the proposed guidelines so that you know what we’re doing to make sure we have a safe and healthy return, and also what you can do.  You can find those here!

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School is currently scheduled for July 20-24th.  We hope this allows your child to have a great time learning about the Lord in a safe, healthy environment.  If you can help or volunteer in any way, please contact Allison Wallace and she’ll give you all the information you’ll need.

Praise Team

Drew will be starting a praise team to help him lead worship.  These people will hold mics on stage and help lead us all in worship.  This won’t be taking the place of our choir when they can meet safely again, but will be in addition to them.  Current plan is to cycle between different people each week to give many the opportunity to lead.  If you’re interested in being part of this team, please contact Drew.