“Rather than ruminating on what makes our life worthwhile as we work toward burnout, we can find the answer outside ourselves, in human connection.”
– Elizabeth Hopper
What is the Theology?
Building relationships and helping others are all important parts of the Christian life. However, unlike the emphasis in this article, Christians are called to do these things not because it might help them personally, but because they are called to participate in God’s kingdom building activity. Ever since God made a covenant with Abraham and promised that “all the families of the earth” (NRSV Gen 12:3) would be blessed through Abraham and his posterity, God has invited God’s people to join him in his plans for the world. In the New Testament, Jesus invites his followers to “do as I have done to you,” (John 13:15) after serving them in the act of footwashing. Christians find meaning as they help others in their service to God.
What to Consider
- Identify some meaningful moments you have experienced in your life? What impact did others have on these moments? How were others involved or not involved?
- Think about someone from your life that helped you when you were in need. Are you still in a relationship with this person? Has this relationship contributed meaning to your life?
- What relationships in your life have been life-giving and meaningful? How might you invest more deeply into these positive relationships?
How to go Deeper
- Hold a congregational service day connecting congregants to community members in need. Emphasize relationship-building among both congregants and community members.
- Regularly share stories of positive transformation that have been made possible because of the generosity of congregants.
- Have congregants write a letter of gratitude thanking someone that helped them when they were in need. Encourage them to meet with the person face-to-face and read the letter to them.
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