I love my church. It is by no means perfect, but man it is such a blessing to me and the city. I love each person and their unique contributions to the body that make the church so beautiful. I know you don’t know the people that I will name here shortly, but what I want you to do is take note of who these people are in your church. Learn their names, appreciate their story, encourage them, and show your gratitude towards them. If perhaps there isn’t someone in your church doing one of these things, maybe you could be challenged to be that person! Here I go.
I love that Tyler and Grace get to church early with their baby (and one on the way) to start brewing coffee, gather the numerous volunteers on the greeting team, fold the worship guides, and prepare communion. I love seeing them float around the room as guests arrive and make sure they are welcomed and feel at home. I love my church.
I love that Trevor and the many amazing people in the band sacrifice their early Sunday morning to come in and prepare the service’s music, readings, and prayers that all point us to Jesus. It is a blessing to enter the doors of the church and hear voices singing the good news, preparing to lead us into the throne room of God. I love my church.
I love that Sharon, Ashley, Amy, and Lindsay come in early to prepare our children’s ministry classrooms so that the volunteers can be equipped to disciple our kids every week. I love that almost every member of our church serves in kids, and can sing praises to God for being a part of these kids’ testimony. I love the kids who sprint around the church getting scolded by mom and dad for running. Their hearts are fresh soil ready for the seeds of the gospel to be planted. I love my church!
I love seeing Bill and Donna serving behind the scenes, mowing the grass, removing snow, making cookies, smiling every Sunday morning. I love hearing stories of new life in Christ from the numerous discipleship groups meeting across the city. I love our Gospel Communities that share meals, share life, and work through the scriptures together. I love the men and women who serve our youth ministry and are there because they want to listen and shepherd. I love that we have people from all walks of life, from great homes growing up to really hard and painful childhoods, and I love that what unites us (in all of our differences) is that Jesus showed up and changed our lives forever! I love that we care for the orphans in our city and make efforts to see them cared for in wonderful homes. I love the pulpit at our church that was hand-crafted by Scott and the words preached by the pastors are unashamedly and consistently the good news of Jesus. Gosh, I love our church.
I could go on and on with more names, more stories, and more joys and hurts, but you get the picture. My challenge for you is to love your church, the people and their hearts. It is so easy to focus on all the things wrong with stuff (especially in society today), but my plea is for you to find a church body near you. LOVE that church, SERVE that church, BE that church. Discover your role in that body and fulfill it joyfully. Find the blessing that God has laid before you and embrace the beauty that is the church.