Sunday, August 17, 2008

This Is Church

Today was a long day. Someone asked me if I could tell a difference between my usual preaching three times a Sunday versus the one time today. My answer was that I was just as exhausted. Even though I preached just once, the fact that we had a completely different schedule today threw me out of sync. But actually that's a good thing (beware of ruts!). Video feeding the messaage was a first for me--weird feeling. But I hear things went very well for the first Sunday. All the audio/video snafus will be worked out over the next several weeks.

As I think back over the day, I recall an axiom that Bill Hybels talked about at the recent Leadership Summit. His axiom says, "This is church." That's how I feel about what happened today. The fellowship time was super. The remodeled fellowship hall looks fantastic, thanks to James Clonts' oversight and to the church family for your REACH contributions. It was great seeing people mingle, old and young alike. I'm told our new expresso machine should be up and running next Sunday.

Now, back to the "This is church" axiom. In addition to the fellowship time, it was a moving experience for me to see our people circled around the worship center as we prayed for our church, community, and country. This is church.

And then the picnic and worship, that's what church is all about. The outing required a large volunteer force. Seeing everyone pitch in...this is church. 26 were baptized in the lake. I was so pumped after the baptisms that the leeches crawling all over my feet when I came out of the water didn't bother me (I'm serious!). It's awesome when families are baptized together. One of our members, after we baptized five from one family at the same time, wondered if we were trying to match Michael Phelps record of 8 (gold medals). What can I say? This is church.

I'm looking forward to our next series of messages that begins next Sunday. "One Verse Wonders." We're going to take a look at six or seven of some of the greatest verses in the Bible. I know...they're all great. But you know what I mean. Don't forget the new schedule begins next Sunday.

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