Who bags your groceries? Sounds like a funny question huh? Most of us are used to hearing “paper or plastic” when we visit our local grocer, but never care for a moment what the story is of the guy that’s throwing our Hot Pockets into our reusable, eco-friendly shopping bags. I propose that maybe that should change.
Late last year I was asked to take over the leadership of Relational Ministry at Midtown. I’ve had the joy of helping others figure out their place in our Midtown family. While most of what I do takes place on Sunday evenings at the church, I think Relational Ministry is every Believer’s job and privilege.
We live in a fast paced society. Most grocery stores now offer self-checkout, making it so you don’t have to talk to a single person during your entire shopping excursion. While I am guilty of using the self-checkout option on occasion for exactly for that reason, I think each time I do I miss out on the chance to encourage, inspire, or brighten someone’s day, all while being encouraged myself.
I’ve shopped at the same Publix for six years. I am glad to say I not only know the name of who helps me at the Deli and Bakery, bags my groceries and helps load my groceries in my car, I also know about them. The weekly 5 minute conversations have resulted in a connectedness and trust. Are we best friends? No. Is there a concern and connection on the human level? You bet! I have taken time in the store to pray with an associate that was facing a difficult situation. Sometimes it’s just letting them vent or speak what’s on their mind. I am also there to celebrate or rejoice when something good happens. It’s what we’re called to do. (Romans 12:15) My hope is that the people I come in contact with will catch a glipse of Jesus via their interaction with me.
How are you living out Relational Ministry in your neighborhood? Comment and share your story.