Last night was the first part of our three-part Annual Meeting at Grace Fellowship Church. It was such a great night reflecting on what the Lord has done in the last year. It reminded me of a sermon I preached back on April 17, 2005, at our church's 5th anniversary (we just passed our 7th).
Why I love my church.
1. I love the way we try to focus on God before anything else – like worship, music, programs, buildings, etc.
2. I love the simplicity of our worship. There is no great production, no bells and smells, just corporately joining together and doing those things we know please God – hopefully in spirit and in truth.
3. I love the accountability of a local church. People miss you when you are gone – you can never just slip away. We need this kind of relational layering in our life.
4. I love the safety net of being a part of a local church. I know that if some tragedy fell across our path, my church family would be there for me in a heartbeat. That gives strength and courage in the tasks I am called to every day.
5. I love the way we sing. This is probably too personal, but I cannot stand being around indifferent singing. I love to look out and see people singing their fool faces off, because they are seeking to worship God with all of who they are. I love that we think about the songs we sing and try to really mean the words and “teach and admonish each other” through them. I love that we have good songs to sing that reinforce the Truth we learn from His Word.
6. I love the way our church loves the Word. What an amazing group of people! They are not content unless fed! Like a bunch of hungry vultures swooping around and around waiting for a sermon they can dive into and feed off of. I love that expectation from you for me to show up with a great sermon, even though it so rarely if ever happens, but that desire you have to be moved and to meet with your God is such a motivation and encouragement to me.
7. I love having people to pray with. Prayer is so vital, so central to being a Christian and having faithful partners to kneel before the throne of God with is a joy I never take for granted. Few things encourage me more than prayer meeting.
8. I love the way church gives opportunities to people to grow, fail, succeed, fail, attempt new things, fail, take great personal risk, fail, etc. Where else on earth are you surrounded by a group of loving friends who long for what is best for you and are willing to tolerate all your bumps along the way because they see that it is the working out of your salvation in Christ?
[more to come...]