I met another pastor this week. She is from Pennsylvania. I told her a little bit out The Water’s Edge. She asked me what makes our church work.
I knew right away what it wasn’t. It’s not the handsome, winsome guy who stands up front most weeks. Thank God for that. It’s not the dozen or so committed staff people. They do more than most of us will ever know, but they would be the first to admit that The Water’s Edge is more than any of them and all of them. It’s not the soon-to-be building at 19600 Harrison Street. WE had a huge impact in Omaha and beyond long before 19600 Harrison Street even existed.
So I told the pastor a story. A story about two weeks ago in worship when I asked for a dozen or so volunteers to roll out heavy mesh mats on Saturday morning so the grass we are planting the north side of our property would thrive.
Six days later, a two-dozen people showed up. A few high school students. A few women. Every age group was represented. Some of the typical suspects showed up. New people wanting to give to something greater then themselves. One woman and her two children brought us lunch. Somebody else brought a cooler of water and Gatorade which is good because lots of sweating was going on. New friendships were formed. Everybody worked hard. A few hours later the project was complete.
That is who WE are.
Generous. The land and now the improvements on the land are made possible by generosity. People giving. Millions of dollars. Thousands of hours. No complaints. Only excitement. In generosity, God does something through us and God does something in us. WE know God is up to big things and WE are blessed to be part of it.
Servants. Serving means being put to use. The Water’s Edge might be best described as a large collection of servants. People being put to use by God. The turnout Saturday didn’t surprise me. Your commitment to God, to our community, our church, and each other is relentless.
Community. WE believe WE can become more together as a team that we can become separately as individuals. That everybody matters. From the guy driving the John Deere tractor to the woman making friends with the neighbor inspecting our work, to the preacher’s kid putting stakes in the ground.
I sit here on a bench at Princeton University during lunch break during a week of learning how to be a better pastor. I can describe how I feel in one word: grateful. Grateful because I am inspired by men, women, and children who model daily what it means to be a generous servant who deeply values God and others. Thank you for being the church.