What’s your church like?

What’s your church like?

This seems like an easy question to answer and yet I always complicate the answer by trying to sound either too dismissive or too spiritual.  “It’s a small church….” or “It’s a place where we connect people with Jesus and each other.”  While both of these statements are true, I think they both miss answering the question.

What is your church LIKE?

My church is like a family dinner.  An unpretentious home-cooked meal with people who love each other, where there is always room at the table for more.  It is a family of people who are diverse in their theology, politics and personalities but who do not allow those things to become roadblocks to connecting with Jesus and each other.  We have crazy “uncles”, shy introverts, obnoxious extroverts and everyone in between.  We are the “Cheers” of churches, where everyone does know your name.

This is what we are like.

The Next Page

this is a picture of the last page in my sermon/prayer journal. In my time as a pastor I have had countless “last page” moments. Some were grateful moments as the journal represented a darker time and some were mournful as the pages of prayer and reflection documented a sweet season with God.  This morning When I flipped to it this morning it was neither sad nor joyful rather it was the feeling of a crossroad. Where will God lead me in the next season?  What will the pages of the next journal detail?

Lent is a time for hopeful introspection, a looking back and a gaze forward.   My prayer is that wherever this next season takes me, I will close that journal having seen Jesus behind me, walking with me and the destination ahead.

Even If…

I flew to Charlotte, NC this morning on a red-eye for my job.  Flying at the “wee-hours” is not something I am used to nor something I enjoy.  Usually when the clock strikes 10 I am a pumpkin.  Needless to say, I found myself walking down the jet-way, shortly after 1AM, feeling the cool of the night air and pondering the typical flying “what-ifs”.  What if the plane breaks apart after take off?  What if there is water landing…over Kansas?  What if I suddenly wake up from my cramped sleep to find myself plummeting to earth?

What if?

Do you live this way?

I was reminded yesterday, in the sermon my mentor gave at our church, that because Jesus was raised from the dead, I don’t have to live the “what-if” life.  Because He is risen (He is risen indeed), I can live the “Even if” life.

Even if the world around me explodes into a million pieces, Jesus conquered death and so will I.

Even if I find myself in a precarious and dangerous situation, I have hope in the one who faced the end of it all and was raised.  So shall I.

Even if I find that most days are ordinary and mundane, “What is sown perishable; what is raised is imperishable.”

Even if….

What do you care?

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. ― Theodore Roosevelt

Jesus teaches us that in concert with a whole-life love for God, love for people is our mission in life.  Too often we get caught up in trying to dump theological information on people  rather than loving them and showing them, through action, the great love of God.

Are you connecting people to Jesus by connecting with them?  Connection is not a surface level, social media driven, passive relationship.  True connection is real life interaction; a caring that brings lives together for the long haul.

When we connect with each other under the banner of the One, who by His grace connects to us to Him, we experience true community and belonging.  Come get connected!

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White-Hot Mission

Connecting People with Jesus and Each Other.

For nearly 11 years, our church has operated under the same basic mission statement.  Most of all of those who have made Harvest their church home at one point in time can recite it, even if they are no longer active attenders.  It occurred to me though that while many could repeat it, it does not accurately describe who we are and what we do.  The former mission while biblical and accurate does not describe the church we are today.  So we matched our mission with who we are and what we do.

Harvest connects people with Jesus and each other.

This is who we are and what we do.  We are dedicated to connecting you with the God of all creation, the loving God who sent His Son to live the life we could not, die the death we deserved and rose to give us the life He has.  We are dedicated to connecting you with the body of believers, the body  of Christ, locally, municipally, regionally and globally.  This is who we are and this is what we do.

Connecting you with Jesus and each other.  Come get connected!