Let's chat about church.
I am so thankful for my church, there really are no words to describe. But alas, I will try to portray a little of what is in my heart.
I'm so thankful for a church where...
-The Gospel is central to EVERYTHING. I could stop there... but you know I won't :)
-The Pastor invests into others' lives. This has been especially encouraging to me... seeing PBC invest in our young men (my hubs included) and how that has truly impacted their leadership and walk with Christ.
-If I'm not there... it is noticed. I'm not 1 of thousands herded in and out each week.
-Every single generation is represented there. From -6 months to 85+ years old and everything in between. It is the most beautiful thing to worship next to them and learn from their stage of life. Growth Groups are a great example of this... discussing the sermon from that morning with 10+ other believers- all in very different stages of life. Truly brings joy to my soul.
-There is no dress code... we have the Eds of the church (my dad, who dresses very formal) to the Jeremys (jeans and a tshirt) of the church and guess what.... no one cares-- we are all saved by the same grace- regardless of the attire we show up in.-- that is beautiful.
-Service is not only encouraged... it is natural here. 5 years ago I would never have believed you if you told me I'd be a youth leader, launch attender, active college ministry contributor, and most recently wedding coordinator at this point in my life. I have never once felt pressured to serve in any one of these areas... it is a desire... a natural reaction to the worship happening every week.
-Transparency is encouraged and demonstrated. How are we to build one another up if we aren't real with each other? We are told to bear one another's burdens, how can that ever happen if we aren't transparent with one another? NOTE TO SELF: must be transparent to receive transparency from others
-God is glorified, and glorifying Him is the focus of every sermon, every Bible study lesson, every event, every decision, every leader, every outreach opportunity... E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
-The Truth is what draws people in... not a coffee shop, or a trend, or entertaining videos, or fog machines, or spot lights, or emotional music... no- the TRUTH.
-Honesty is expected, regardless of how hard it hurts or how deep it stirs our heart.
-There is no 'typical' member. You would not be able to describe the 'types' of people that go to our church. There is no specific genre they fall into... each member is critically unique from another. There is no pressure to act/dress/live a certain way that fits a particular style. Each individual is so different, and yet loved and cared for by the other.
-Hard, uncomfortable topics are discussed. Sure, there are times I feel uncomfortable-- like last Sunday talking about Lust and Adultery. But I am so incredibly thankful for a church that won't shy away from the tough stuff. This breeds transparency and honesty.... it is beautiful how it all works together to create personal relationships.
-I am challenged by every sermon. These sermons are not full of motivational speech, or emotional lures, or feel good take-aways... no these sermons are jam packed with TRUTH... and there is no sugar coating this truth, it can be hard to swallow sometimes because of my pride... and yet- so. beautiful.
-I get a hug from Em Jones every single week. Nothing like feeling as if I have another grandmother.. one that lives close and attends the same church. How thankful I am for these hugs that bring a tear to my eye every time.
-Once students graduate... I get to take off the leader hat and put on the friend hat. I have been so blessed by these friendships-I can't even begin to put into words what they mean to me and my heart, and how much God has used them to shape, encourage and challenge me. What a humbling thing to experience...
-The youth sponsors from when I was in youth now have students that I get to attempt to serve as well as their parents served me.
-The walls we meet in are not the boundaries that define our 'church'. We live life together, investing in one another with genuine love. We do not merely show up on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays... get fed the Word and leave. No... there is emphasis placed on establishing personal relationships with one another. I am so blessed to have that here.. and that it is natural.
I could go on forever... but I'll stop there for today. I am sure this topic will come around again.
What are your favorite things about your church? Any thoughts/questions about mine?
PS: I really like it when you interact w/me here :)