Let Me Count the Ways

Like most days I woke this morning thinking about our church, the dozens of families and believing women and men who call First Calvary Baptist Church home. But instead of thinking about the next event on the calendar or a ministry that requires attention, my mind turned to some qualities I love about our church. Here are a few.

I Love Our Generational Church Family.

We shake and hold arthritic hands of those who’ve loved and labored for our Lord for many years and show no signs of stopping anytime soon. These older women and men model for the rest of us what it looks like to be faithful to our Lord and to his church for a very long time. They’ve lived through joy and disappointment, feast and famine. While we only have a few of these seasoned saints with us, their stories of God’s faithfulness instill in us anticipation of God’s constancy in the present.

Following Sunday worship there’s no better place to be than the hallway outside the nurseries. Laughter, hugs, voices soft and loud fill the space as moms and dads gather their little ones to make the trip home. With five more babies on the way and with the hope of more on the horizon, our church receives the blessing of the next generation of Christians.

Somewhere in between the extremes remains the rest of us – middle age couples, teenage girls and guys, college students, single women and men who want to become like Jesus and share his love with our cities in the shadows of St. Paul / Minneapolis and around the world.

Generational Christianity is a beautiful sight to behold week after week.

I Love Preaching to Our Church.

By and large, our church makes preaching the word of God as easy as possible for the one in the pulpit, and since that’s usually me, I really love preaching to our church. Our church is eager to learn God’s Word, gives no indication they’ve grown weary of my preaching, is willing to ponder challenging applications, and still offers polite comments when I whiff on a particular Sunday.

I Love Singing with Our Church.

We don’t have the musicians to provide solo vocalists or a four-part church choir, but let us cut loose on Come, Thou Fount of Every BlessingO Church, Arise, or almost anything else, and we can make a pretty good “joyful noise to the Lord.” We like to sing, and I love it!

I Love How Our Church Prays.

Last month we gathered for a Spring Prayer Refresher, an emphasis on prayer in the calendar spot normally reserved for a week of evangelistic meetings or a Bible conference. Listening to the church confess to God, express dependence on God, commit to loyalty to God, and make requests of God was a beautiful corporate reality of what happens individually.

I Love Our Children's Ministries and Youth Staff.

Each of our staff members who serves newborns to seniors in high school is a volunteer. In a word, they are awesome! Week after week they prepare Bible lessons and think of creative ways to teach our children how to know, trust, love, and serve our Lord. Most of them feel inadequate for the task, but they don’t allow feelings of insecurity to stop them from the mission – Show Them, Jesus.

For these reasons and more I love our church and am privileged to serve as her pastor. What would you add to the list?

As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.