God likes to speak to me as I pull into the driveway. A couple of weeks ago God said (very matter-of-factly), “Nicole, go back to hosting a dinner church.” This was not the first time God has spoken to me about ministry, about church and about what I needed to do (and, don’t worry, it’s not audible but rather its like a bold inner, intuitive voice). And while I do listen, I also find that when God speaks to me is as much about the conversation as the proclamation.
Ah, dinner church! We did a dinner church last summer during the month of July. I enjoyed it and thought about doing it again but could not make it work with my schedule. Also (and this is the bigger issue), we were not gathering many new people but rather people who already were connected to a church. Church people don’t need another church thing to do and honestly, neither do I – even though, I love to eat dinner outside in the garden at a long table under twinkle lights! What I started wondering after the summer was if the place to have spiritual/life/insightful conversations with new people isn’t dinner church after all.
So, this was what my conversation with God was about. And the more I prayed about it, the more I turned the idea all around, I began to realize that the call was about meeting new people and engaging with them where they were. It was a call to build friendships and understanding and not about designing a program. It was a call to relationship. It was a call to create space for life.
A week later, I heard God speak again as I pulled into the driveway, this time God said, “Nicole, what about starting a coloring group?” Now, this caught me off guard. I had never thought about this before, but the idea was so good I immediately got excited about it. Later that week, I set up a Meet Up for “Empty Nester Women Who Color, Practice Mindfulness and Drink Wine.” I mean, why not? I am an empty nester so it’s a great connection and mindfulness meditation and coloring are both so awesome. So far I have 12 women confirmed, none of whom I know.
I feel both excited and a bit scared – like, what am I doing???? What if I “do it wrong”? You know, the usually voices who have nothing helpful to say when you step out and do something new.
But that’s OK – I am focusing on the possibilities. And, I do know what I want to come out of this – some new friendships, some new conversations and an opportunity to grow and learn. Happy New Year!