KIndness. It's part of the fruit of the spirit. It's one of the practices, which helps Christians look like Christians.
We got onto kindness at a discussion this week. The discussion was supposed to be around Alisdair's presentation of his dissertation findings re whether people who lived some distance away from the building they use to gather together for worship was a missed opportunity? Another time . Because it was at one of our leaders for 'larger' (over 150) Baptist Churches network days, we debated, for a long time, over the first bar on the first graph (!!), but we also got caught by kindness.
Kindness - "I wish our people would just work at being kind to other people" - probably not an exact quote and probably more politely put, because there was a fair bit of angst directed towards 'our people' (!?).
It raised the issue again - what is discipleship all about and how do we establish an environment in which it happens? We are all disciples, but of whom? We often assume the answer, within the Church, is Jesus, but is it?
I've often said we must begin with the end in mind, but I was reading something by Alan Hirsch again this week and he raised a lovely both/and for me. It's not simply about beginning with the end in mind, but also ending with the beginning in mind. What is it exactly we are multiplying? Dare we take a close look at the results of our practices?
Lest we (those of us who look as themselves as Christian leaders) think this is an issue simply for 'our people' and, therefore, merely a case of changing our home group structure, or whatever, let us think again.
Yesterday a friend and colleague sent me this prayer of Mother Teresa: "If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. be kind anyway."
Missional includes kindness.