This past Saturday, my extremely annoying alarm clock jolted me out of a sound sleep at 4:15am. I reluctantly pushed off the covers, swung my feet onto the floor, stood up and performed an off-balance stretch that nearly toppled the stand-up mirror.
Groggy, but finally awake, I headed for the stairs ignoring my groaning body's pleading for just 5 more minutes of rest... "just 5 more minutes for crying out loud! It's four o' stinking clock in the stinking morning!!" What could have possible dragged me out of my cherished Saturday morning slumber at such an hour?...
14 equally sleepy saints waiting at the church for me to drive the bus to New Wilmington for a One Day Seminar, that's what.
I had asked one of my leaders to pick up some breakfast items for the trip, and he showed up with a cooler full of orange juice and a couple crates full of Panera goodies! Another fella arrived with several boxes of donuts. Needless to say, we didn't starve on our 3 hour journey into Pennsylvania. Praise music blasting, riders chatting away in their seats, I pulled out of the parking lot anticipating a glorious day with some of my favorite people... and I was not disappointed.
Most of those who made the trip were leaders, the others are actively heading that direction. So, at the end of the day, they all reflected on how much they had learned and how excited they were to get back and implement the training. However, what everyone seemed to have gotten most out of our little road trip is an increased appreciation and love for one another.
What I really want to focus on in this blog is how relationships within our CR group seem to blossom and bloom brightest in these fellowship opportunities outside our CR meetings.
As Encourager Coaches, a large part of our role is to "create fellowship events for leaders and groups." On Saturday, it was so evident why nurturing camaraderie in our ministry is so vital.
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24, 25)
Make opportunities to fellowship outside your regularly scheduled CR meetings... and make the most of every one of these opportunities (no matter how early in the morning!) by nurturing a camaraderie that comes through the love and fellowship of Jesus Christ.