What do you get when you let an office-worker out for the day?
This is not the start of a corny joke but a wee glimpse into my working week.
My three-day, office-based job offers occasional outings to speak at events or meet-ups with our CMSI Stars. But when the opportunity came to be released from my desk for a whole day, I jumped at the chance!
The opportunity was at New Horizon, a Christian Festival based at the Ulster University Campus in Coleraine. At this year's event (held earlier this month), CMSI staff and volunteers ran a 'Job Centre' stand in the mission exhibition area. Our two main aims were to share current opportunities for serving with CMSI and to connect with people - those we knew and lots we didn’t.
Along with my CMSI volunteers for the day, Laura and Frank, we smiled, chatted and engaged with a wide variety of people. We also got the chance to join in morning and evening worship, attend seminars and take in some local tourist spots in the afternoon.
For someone like me, who is more used to being behind a desk, it was wonderful to get to speak to people face-to-face and be challenged by this year's theme at New Horizon, 'Radical Hospitality.'
A phase that has stuck with me from one of the main speakers, Rosario Butterfield, was “Christians don’t throw people away”. I have mulled over this quote since last Tuesday evening and feel very challenged by it personally and for what it means in the context of CMSI. When I think of the work of our Global Partners, they live out Radical Hospitality in such a real and authentic way. We share many stories of how the global Church embraces the forgotten, lost and abandoned, often with limited resources and challenging circumstances. What would it look like if we embraced this idea in our communities?
So to answer the first question, what happens when an office worker is let loose… big things happen!
I have got a renewed sense of connection with supporters, the local church and our mission family. I heard encouraging and inspiring speakers who challenged me and pushed me in my personal walk as well as my work setting. The impact of being out’n’about for one day has had a very positive impact on me.
So the next time you get the opportunity to go out from behind your desk, my advice would be to grab it with both hands!