Fellow Citizens and Members of the Household of God:
May I say one thing that I love about our church? To be honest, there are many, many things that I love about it, but one thing in particular stuck out in my mind one spring Sunday, when both Pastor Kevin and Pastor Josh were together in the pulpit. Those are the days, those “two for the price of one” Sundays, that tend to stick with me. To top it off, we had a baptism that morning, and all was well with the world on that bright, sunny day.
I was suddenly struck by the notion that our very big church maintains a small church atmosphere, no matter what is going on in the world around us. Early in the service, Pastor Josh asked for “Christ in the World Around Us” moments, and as hands went up, he called each individual by name. I’m not sure if that should impress me as much as it does, but it truly touches my heart. To me, this makes our very big church seem a bit smaller, and much more intimate.
As Pastor Kevin delivered his message, he referred to at least a couple of the people in the congregation by name, and it became apparent that not only does he know these people by name, he knows them personally. He has an anecdote for most of the people here; and this makes our very big church seem a bit smaller, and much more personal.
Then came the baptism, and when Pastor Kevin took a walk with the beautiful baby God had shared with us that morning, I was again struck by the intimacy of the relationships among our pastors and ourselves. I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed a Pastor who actually takes the baptized child up the aisles to meet their new brothers and sisters – but I truly love that moment. And for me, it makes our very big church seem a bit smaller, and much more accessible.
Although people remark about what a big church we are, (typically people who don’t attend here) we are very small at heart. People support each other like family; and on occasion, folks even argue like family. It’s safe here; we are confident we will walk away loved, even if we don’t always agree. And that makes our very big church seem a bit smaller, and much more like a family. God’s family.
No matter how big the City of Fishers gets, I pray we stay small. I pray older members continue to lovingly mentor to our younger members, as we promise to do during baptisms. I pray we continue to have the privilege of knowing each other by name and more. I pray each baby gets a personal walk up the aisles to meet his or her new brothers and sisters. And I pray we continue to share our own “Christ in the World Around Us” moments.
To me, these things make our very big church seem a bit smaller, and much more intimate, personal, accessible, and like God’s family.
Ephesians 2: 19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.”