Yesterday, I got to take part in worship services at two churches. In the morning I visited my old church home in Knoxville and last night I attended a special worship service at my new church home in Murfreesboro.
These two church homes bring me a lot of happiness in my life. The one in Knoxville because I can always count on seeing old friends and church family members and being greeted warmly. (And it's not just me....I'd dare say anyone who visits will get a warm welcome.) I got lots of questions about if I was moving back permanently to Knoxville or if I had just come to town for a visit. Lots of hugs, lots of smiles and lots of catching up. And to see the church continuing to grow and change. I joked with some that it's hard to see the kids growing up at church, but deep down I'm happy to see it....and to see and hear about their journeys and growth. It still is difficult to believe that KB is considering her choices of colleges... And while it's good to see lots of familiar faces, it was also nice to see new faces that I didn't recognize. To see the church being active, vital and growing as a home to nurture the believers who gather there and to try and win new disciples....it's a wonderful answer to prayer.
To book-end the day, I attended my new church's special worship service last evening. During out stewardship campaign, our head minister challenged the congregation that if we met a lofty financial goal, he's "preach from the rooftop." Well, after a lot of prayer and working together, we did meet the goal for pledges for the year, so he agreed to get up on high and preach. Now, part of me has to admit that part of the draw was the natural curiosity for this was the "preach from the rooftop" part of the promise. The church is a large one (it's on Thompson Lane in da Boro and it's the one that some Baptist friends refer to as "Six Flags over Jesus.") and we have a high roof. So, I was curious if he'd be on the rooftop or how this would work....
So, I went to the service, which was preceded by a dinner (we're Methodists and we firmly believe "if you feed them, they will come.") I had dinner, caught up with some friends and had fellowship with my church family. Then, it was time for the preaching....which was done from roof level in scissorlift. At one point, the pastor joked the roof would probably not be wobble back and forth as much as the scissorlift. We sang some old time hymns, heard a great message and then sang some more.
As I reflected on both corporate worship experiences on the way home, I found myself thinking how blessed I am. I am part of two great church families, both of whom are Christ-centered and take the Great Commission seriously. They are active, vital and growing--not just in numbers of people who attend, but also in being out there, creating new followers and disciples in the community and world. I'm blessed to be part of two church families who have an age range from a couple of weeks old to well into the retirement years.
Some of you may recall that I spent a bit of time a year and a half or so ago looking for the home church that I felt like God needed me to be at. I wanted to find a place that fit me as well as my old church did in Knoxville. And I've found it. And yesterday reminded me of that in a big way.
And for all of that, I am truly happy...and thankful.
Labels: August happiness challenge
posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/06/2007 08:20:00 AM