This past week I did a memorial service for a woman who was a member of our church. She wasn't regular in her attendance due to work, family and work responsibilities but she kept up to date on items via the web and email.
What was an eye-opening revelation for me was that of the 90 or so people in attendance only a handful, mostly deacons who were helping out in the kitchen were from the church. Those who came were people whose lives she had touched in significant ways. A college professor, her mail carrier, neighbors and those who were students with her each had stories to share about the way she lived life. One young man recounted how he was one of her grandchildren, not biologically but in a deeper and more meaningful way. Others met her through her ministry in the area of crisis support and care.
The testimonies about her didn't surprise me. What I wondered is how many non-church members will come to my memorial service? How many lives, outside of the walls of the church have I touched significantly enough that they would take time out to come to my funeral. Who will attend your service? I haven't thought through all the ways that I can begin to take steps to form significant relationships with people outside of the church but I know I need too. One place to begin is to know the local baristas and something about their lives outside of their coffee shop. In this area what ways have worked for you?