Dear Windermere Friends,
The last couple of weeks, we have been discussing and praying about Windermere’s ministry strategy. If you remember, we said that the mission of Windermere is to provide a Christian environment for life-changing experiences.
We said in order to see this mission accomplished Windermere incorporates a 4-step strategy. The first step is hospitality. We host groups of all kinds and extend God’s love and service. Hospitality leads to outdoor adventure. In this step we are reminded that the Creator of the world pays attention to us and we find renewal in having excitement and fun. Today we will talk about step 3 which is authentic relationships.
Windermere at its most basic level is in the people business. We host all kinds of groups from churches, national ministries, colleges etc. When talking about people, one characteristic that is clear is this – there is a huge variety of people. Similarly, there are all kinds of Christians and all kinds of Baptists. So how can so many different kinds of people have an authentic connection with other?
The Bible calls it Koinonia. It is a term that is often translated fellowship. Koinonia is being in agreement with one another, being united in purpose, and living alongside each other. My friend Chuck Gartman describes it as “the Christ in me connecting with the Christ in you.” In my opinion, life change happens when we experience true Koinonia. The healthiest ministries know this.
Paul talked about this kind of connection in Philippians 2:1-2 “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”
Please don’t misunderstand. Paul is not talking about uniformity. He is talking about unity. When we experience true Koinonia, God leaves all of our uniqueness intact while at the same time creating a unity of purpose and spirit. That is authentic relationships. It is my opinion that our modern culture has taken away authentic relationships in our lives. We are too busy, too isolated and too wired. We are missing out.
Here at Windermere, we love all kinds of people. The greater the variety the better. Why? Because within the greatest variety of people, God creates the sweetest fellowship. When all of God’s people get to heaven, I am convinced there will be a great variety of people waiting on us. Come to Windermere because you get to experience a little bit of heaven here on earth…thank you Lord.
1. Pray that true authentic relationships can occur at Windermere this year.
2. Pray that financial challenges can be overcome so that people can experience our little piece of heaven on earth.
Windermere Baptist Conference Center