Direct from David: What is the ‘Good Sam’ pledge?

Maybe you’ve heard the story of two workhorses who were competing against each other in order to see which one could pull the most weight. The first horse pulled 9,000 pounds, and the second one pulled 8,000 pounds. Someone thought it would be interesting to see how much they could pull together. You would think that they would pull about the total of their individual weight pulling, about 17,000 pounds. But – they pulled a total of 30,000 pounds together! Oh the power of synergy and the amazing things that happen when we work together. It’s the beauty of doing life together in community like I taught last Sunday. We are so much better together!

When you become part of the Whitewater family, we want you to build meaningful and rich relationships. We want the church to be more than just a one-hour event that you cram into an already hectic week. We want this to be a place where you have authentic community. We want you to have a circle of friends where you are known, cared for, encouraged, and loved. In fact, if you want people to come to your funeral, you’re going to have to get to know some people while you’re alive! 

Acts 2:41-47 describes the first church as that kind of place. Is Whitewater that kind of place for you right now? Most surveys show that the #1 reason people choose a church is (wanna guess?) the preaching. That’s scary to me! But the #1 reason most people stay in church is because of relationships.

Here are three excuses I hear about why people don’t get in a group: 

Excuse #1: There might be weird people.
You’re thinking something like this, aren’t you? That’s the reason you park on the street and not in the driveway when you go to someone’s house for small group. You don’t want to get trapped if it gets weird. Trust me, if you join a small group, there will be weird people in there occasionally. That’s because everybody is weird till you get to know them! Including you. The others in the group might very well be afraid of you. Ever thought about that?

Excuse #2: I’m too busy.
On any given week, you probably work about 50 hours, drive about 10 hours, go to the grocery store, mow the grass, watch Sports Center, grill burgers, drive the kids to soccer practice, and call your mom. Every time you check one thing off the list, another thing is there to take its place. So the thought of taking a night in the middle of the week to go hang out with people and talk about the Bible isn’t really all that appealing. “This season of my life is just busy,” you tell yourself. I’ll do group “when things settle down.” But you know what – things will never settle down. At least until you make some decisions about the highest and best use of your precious time. So I give you permission to let something go undone. Permission to say ‘no’ to something because you have a better ‘yes’ – a group.

Excuse #3: I’m an introvert.
I’m pretty sure that the majority of the people in the world are introverts. It seems like less, but that’s just because the extroverts like me are loud and everywhere! If you struggle with being shy, the thought of hanging out with people talking about life sounds miserable. But once you break the ice and get through some of the silly stuff, it will be worth it. I know a ton of our small group leaders and they don’t make anyone talk or pray out loud. Try it.

Those are three of the excuses (or reasons) people give themselves for not jumping into a small group with others. So, what are yours?

Here’s a 30-second peek into one of our small groups. Doesn’t this look pretty easy and like a ton of fun?! Here are some other ways to connect in life giving spiritual community around here:

  • Check out the ‘Find Your People’ tab on the Whitewater App
  • Sign up (and show up) for that Solve 7 Summer Challenge
  • If you’re 18-24 years old, a great way to plug into a community is through our new ‘College Age’ group that starts June 18 at 6:30pm down at the Bier Haus. I am calling it Kreimer Night!
  • Also, the Student Union is planning a new look for Sunday mornings, which involves separating Middle School and High School into two different groups for the teaching and small groups part. This will better connect students in those age groups in richer community.
  • Lastly, one of the absolute best ways to begin connecting is to volunteer to serve in a task with some other people. It may be Guest Services, holding babies in Harbortown’s Nursery (we have a ton of new ones back there lately!) or working with our Students. Sign-up and start serving somewhere in the church – you’ll find huge community there. And you might just see me back there serving sometime!

Speaking of serving, our most recent Dollar Difference recipient (Tina Monhollan) is now moving into the apartment we helped pay for. She needs some assistance moving in on May 30. Email info@otphope.com to offer to help and get additional details.

Sam Walton always led new employees in the ‘Sam Pledge’ at Wal-Mart. It was: From this day forward, every customer that comes within 10 feet of me, regardless of what I’m doing in this place, I’m going to look them in the eye; smile; and I’m going to greet them with a “Good morning/Good afternoon,” and “What can I do for you?” So help me, Sam.

But wouldn’t it be great if everyone at Whitewater would make a ‘Good Sam (Samaritan) Pledge?’ From this day forward, every person that comes within 10 feet of me on a Sunday morning, I’m going to smile and greet them, and say – “What can I do for you?” So help me, God. 

Great words to live and love by.