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And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. Luke 5:3

It’s hard for even me to believe, but the Gateway Pink team has been working on this week’s Pink Impact Cruise for over two years. (Time flies, right?)

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 9.18.17 PMWe started out with a vision to create a unique gathering for women that would provide a retreat like experience along with the very best in Biblical teaching, worship and relationships.

As I pack my bags tonight, I paused to thank God for the opportunity to think, work, and lead outside the traditional church ministry box.  It’s so much fun and so empowering to work within an organization that is willing to stretch the traditional limits of “church” in order to reach beyond the boundaries all around us. Gateway Church really is all about people!

A gathering like this pushes our boundaries and challenges our thinking to consider how we can creatively serve people all around us.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.43.09 PMSo I’m asking myself –

  • What will it look like to serve the 300 women joining our Gateway Pink team for a few days on the high seas?
  • Will I remember how important it is to create a safe, friendly environment?
  • Will I go out of my way to welcome a newcomer or to encourage an old friend?
  • Will I let laughter and joy lead the way to authentic conversation and mutual trust?
  • Will I share my meals (or my beach chair) with joy?
  • Will I embrace the opportunity to worship in such an unusual sanctuary?
  • Will I be a hungry sheep, eating deeply of the Word of God?

This is community at a different level and in a different manner.  The lines aren’t as clear and the results are hard to measure.  Yet I have a sense in my heart that God is excited to meet us on this out-of-the-box adventure.  Think about all the stories of the Bible that center around travel, adventure, or new relationships.  Maybe our God is really into sun, sand and water.  How many times do we read about Him in a boat?

I’m believing that what others might see as just a vacation, will in fact be a gathering that changes lives, creates deeper community and builds the church.

You probably know I love the local church.  But I believe it’s easy to confuse the church with a building.  We go into the church building in order to be equipped for the work of the ministry. Then as we go out again, the “work of the ministry” happens outside the building.  The “church” consist of the believers and because of that, the church is in your home, your workplace, your schools, your neighborhood and even on a cruise ship.

And by the way, we don’t need a cruise ship in order to experience the type of community I’m sharing about here.  Go ahead and let the adventure unfold right in your own back yard.  God definitely has a plan to take you outside the walls of the church building and into the lives and hearts of people all around you.  If you can’t sail this weekend, commit to set the sail of your heart to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to your own adventure of faith.

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And if you are sailing with us tomorrow – welcome.  Set your eyes high on things above. We’ll have some fun for sure.  We’ll eat.  We’ll swim.  We’ll shop.  We’ll rest.  But also we will worship.  We will open the word.  We will pray.  We will love one another.  We will be the church.

Love,

Jan

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