I go to a different kind of church. Before my first visit to this church, I had heard of it and didn't want to go. The head pastor is in another town and the local congregation watches the sermon via live video feed in our local civic center. We kept getting invitations, though. I was finally convinced to give it a try when my teenage son recommended it. He had been with some friends and really thought we would like this church. He was right!
After the first visit, I forgot I was watching the pastor on a screen. The music is live. Real people lead the service and their is a local pastor. The music was modern, the people were dressed down, and the church had a motto.."No Perfect People Allowed." There were volunteers everywhere and all were super friendly and happily serving.
Three years later, I am one of the happily serving volunteers, although not weekly. I am working on that, but my work schedule interferes. My kids volunteer, too. My family and I love getting up to go to church on Sunday morning. In fact, we get excited Saturday night about the next day's service! Our senior pastor, Perry Noble, is a magnificent speaker and makes every sermon a moving one. I leave refreshed and strengthened in spirit, ready for the week.
Tonight we had a special meeting of our "campus" with guests from another campus 1 1/2 hours away. Pastor P came to our stage and spoke to us about what his vision is for the future of our church. Great news! We have been meeting at the Civic Center since 2008, but they are going to build for us our very own building on our very own land! I find this so exciting! It will have to be an amazing building, too, because our attendance last week was over 1600! (When I started attending it was about 400 per week.)
I'm so glad I have found a church home that I truly love. I love the people, the music, the sermons, the growth, the salvations, the baptisms, the excitement and celebration, and everything else about my church! I believe it is important to be an active part of a local church.
I'm thinking my next step may be to get involved with missions. I church sends groups of volunteers to Kenya several times each year, in addition to many local projects. I will have to pray about it and talk with my family before I make any decision, but it has been on my heart for a while now.
I feel like growing as a Christian is one of the things I want to work on and being part of a living, growing, thriving church is helping me with that. Do you belong to a local church? Are you committed to that church? How committed? Do you belong to a church that really got you excited about being a Christian? What do you think is your next step in your faith?