Archive for July 28th, 2011

July 28, 2011

It Is Not The Quotations Marks

by pastortimfowler

Lately I have had this feeling that something “big” was going to happen soon at my church. I have always felt that our church was special, and not just because most of the people who make up our church are “special” (please notice the quotation marks). I hope that I don’t have to explain what I mean by that. We are called The Body, A Church for Anybody, and, wow, we have gotten the “anybodys” (notice quotation marks again). I really don’t know why quotation marks make things mean something different, but it does.

 I have never had the feeling of our church growing into a “mega” church in the sense of building a place that seats thousands. I have always felt that it would be more in the lines of several worship times, all of them not being more that 200-300 people. This keeps it intimate and allows for us to really know the folks we worship with. My ultimate dream is to have to pick a day to close the church. If you think about it, we really have it backwards. We pick one day a week to open the church. In today’s busy world, there are some folks who just can’t come on Sunday at 11am. And, there are certainly enough people in Rock Hill SC to fill my church with a different group several times a day, several days a week.
As of right now, we are only at the point of our 10:30am Sunday morning worship time being almost full and talking about our next time that we will need. I believe that once we get past the second meeting time that things will accelerate and we will add new times more often. I am not convinced that starting the new worship time is the “big thing” that is going to happen soon. I do believe that it is going to happen and that our vision is a good one.
I visited several churches on the past year that are using multiple locations. I love the idea because they first used the multiple time idea and outgrew what they do in one location. Some of them are meeting on Saturday and Thursday in addition to the Sunday times, but no one has gone to the point of having to pick a day to close the church because they need a day off. That might be a “fantasy” and too big of a dream, but I was always told to dream and dream so that it could only happen if God was in it.
There are many churches today who are realizing that “typical” church activities are not what we need. They are doing what is needed to reach the younger generation and are doing it well. I hear some folks talking down about how they have gone overboard and are acting like “the world” in order to fill their churches. Sadly, those who are complaining have very few young people in their churches and probably never will. I have a saying when I counsel couples that I like to use to help them not argue as much. I tell them that “different” is not wrong. It can be, but usually isn’t. Jesus was very different and the “religious” crowd did not like Him, so these churches that I see growing with young people in explosive ways should feel pretty good.
So what is this “big” thing that I feel that God is doing? I wish I could say I was 100% sure, but I am not. But here is what I think it is. God is working inside me, not just around me. He is showing me truths that allow me to see Him and not just the things He does. There is nothing wrong about telling people about what God is doing, but too often they forget about what He did and therefore forget about God. When we see Him with everything that happens, we begin to look for Him in everything else that happens. Our goal as Christians is to see Him face to face one day, not only to see what God is doing. If we see Him, we will not only see what He is doing, but we are likely to be doing it with Him. That is exciting!
To all you “special” people at The Body, hang on! God has something in store. I see Him when I see you guys loving folks the way you do. I see Him when I read your facebook posts and tweets. I see Him when you welcome our guests and they come back. I see Him when you meet the needs of someone who is without and encourage those who are down. The “big thing” that will happen will happen because God is “in the house” not just because we are. So thanks to you all for showing God in what you do.
I am waiting eagerly to see how thing progress. If you are not part of a church somewhere that you can see God when you attend, or if you are not part of a church at all, I encourage you to find that place where He is there and “jump in with both feet”. Nothing is more exciting than “hanging out” with God!
Thanks for reading this. I hope you understood and enjoyed the use of “quotation marks” today. They just seemed to add something special. But in life it is God, not the “quotation marks”, that make things special.