A Letter from Dave Visaggio
Next week Pastor Matt will conclude the 5 Practices of Fruitful Congregations. There’s no question that the financial commitment we each make next week is very important to our church’s overall health, but I believe the term “Extravagant Generosity” can go beyond our 2011 Pledge and we can give the gift of ourselves to our fellow church members. I’d like to briefly mention a few ways we can all do this:
- Listening: The simple act of taking time to talk with other members of our congregation and finding out what’s going on in another person’s life can give that person the opportunity to get some issues off of his or her chest. It could be someone you know very well or a person you don’t talk too often. Whether their issues are work- or home-related, sometimes people just want to be listened to and heard. This practice of focusing on someone else can also take you away from your own issues that might be weighing you down.
- Encouragement/ Positive Reinforcement: It’s natural, I guess, to find faults in or be critical of other people. We do live in an environment where the TV and newspapers have made an industry out of being negative. Is that how we, as followers of Christ, view others each day? Try this: next time you come to church, pick an individual and look for the “10” in that person. Compliment him or her on something, anything, and watch how they react. Kind words may be free, but they are a priceless lift of any person’s spirit. Why not encourage someone today?
- Your Time: As we get older, time seems to be the most precious commodity we all have. There are only 24 hours in a day and there doesn’t seem to be enough time to do everything you want. We seem to always be rushing from one “have to do” to the next. That being said, I have a suggestion for you: Over the next month, pick one member of the congregation—perhaps one of our senior citizen members—and spend time with them. Invite them out for a cup of coffee or go visit them at their house. Spend some time with them and I promise you that you’ll make them feel like a million dollars and that they’ll greatly appreciate the gesture!
Conclusion: As most of you probably know, I’m on the Shepherd Committee with my assigned “sheep”—I assist a few church members who need a ride to our weekly services. I do get a great deal of satisfaction listening to all of them, encouraging them and giving them my time. For me, it’s a pleasant break from my job and personal life. I recently came across a verse from Proverbs 23:26 that, to me, captures everything I’ve mentioned in this letter: “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe my ways.” When we practice “Extravagant Generosity” in our personal commitments to each other as well as our financial commitments to the church, I believe we’re doing just that: giving the Lord our heart and everything He deserves.