Friday, February 20, 2015

What I Like About Our Church Family

New Calvary Baptist Church.  That's where Lara, the kids, and I belong.  I'm the fortunate guy who gets to serve as their pastor.  And that fine congregation is our church family.

I love it there.  Could not be happier!  I have thanked God many times for putting us with these fine people.

Here is what I like about our church family...

[1]  They are a welcoming bunch.  We visited there a few times before I was asked to preach some as an interim.  It was just a good place for us to go.  And they immediately made us feel welcome.  People smiled and shook our hands.  In no time at all, we knew we were at home.  They made us real comfortable, and we realized quickly they were a special congregation.

[2]  They show grace and unconditional love.  They don't demand perfection in people.  Instead, they realize everyone is a sinner in need of forgiveness.  A week before they voted on me as their full-time pastor, I stood before them and shared my life story.  Yes, I talked about my successes and victories.  But I also talked about my failures and regrets.  It was so liberating to open up and share my experiences with them.  After I did that, they applauded, formed a line down the center aisle, and walked up to me with smiles and hugs.  They thanked me for being real and they made me feel totally welcome. That was an awesome day.

[3]  They care about each other.  Relationships matter at New Calvary.  And I like it that way!  Since we run a little under 100 people on Sundays, folks are able to get well acquainted with each other.  As their pastor, I am enjoying getting to know them.  I almost know everyone's name there, with a few exceptions.  I'll keep working on that until I know them all.  But these folks look out for one another and step up to the plate when someone is hurting.  It's a warm, loving church. 

[4]  They are a Jesus-centered church.  New Calvary recognizes that salvation, purpose, and hope are all found in Jesus.  They keep Him as the center of their focus, the object of their worship, and the source of their strength.  More than anything else, they like to keep the church about Him.

Is it a perfect church?  Of course not.  No church is perfect.  And, in full disclosure, I'm certainly not a perfect pastor either.  But we unite in knowing that we have a perfect Savior in Jesus Christ.  That's what makes things tick at New Calvary.

All of us churches are works in progress, aren't we?!  None of us have arrived and figured it all out.  But if we keep looking to Jesus and loving each other, I think we churches will be ok. 

So God bless the good people of New Calvary.  And God bless the fine churches you readers are a part of as well.  May we all continue to know Him and make Him known! 

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