I know I have written before about how much I love my church, but the love just continues to intensify.
I was thinking the other day about different people I have invited to church. Sometimes it's hard to invite people and not seem overly pushy. It's just that I have come to love the place so much, that I can't wait to share what I love with other people. I have people that I have invited and they turned me down, those are the ones that I continue to pray that they find comfort in Him or in some sort of support group. I continue to pray that they will one day take me up on that offer.
Then there are the people that I invite, and they come. And more often than not, they love it too! They see what my family loves about it, and often times they make it their new home. Its a great feeling being able to share something that is so important to me with others, and to see them fall in love with it as well. This not only goes for friends, but for family. It started years ago and the only person I was able to bring with us to church was my mom. She enjoyed it - and over the years we have started adding more family, including my Dad, my mother in law and father in law and my mother in law's parents. Also? My mother in law's sister started going and then her daughter started coming and so going to church is like an exciting family reunion once a week! I love that people can be just as moved as I am by the weekly messages. It's not a traditional church - so much of it is via satellite which would turn almost any person off once you hear that mentioned. But, once you try it? It's pretty awesome. And you can't help but fall in love with the people, the staff, the message.
Just recently the Senior Pastor made a visit to our campus. (Our church is one church but multiple locations. We are spread out over various states - 15 different campuses as well as pioneering Church Online.) The senior Pastor is a very busy man, so a campus visit was pretty darn exciting. (Don't worry - we have a campus pastor as well who is AWESOME, but the Senior Pastor coming was a real treat.) Pastor Craig came and spoke to a packed house, the air was electric, everyone was excited and motivated. It was amazing. He talked about growth in the past year, as our campus is only one year old. In that time we went from having two services, to eight. Seeing over 4,000 people a weekend. In one year we have had 1,667 people raise their hands to commit their lives to Christ It's just amazing the work God is doing in our community and through our church. Hearing him speak in person, hearing his emotion behind his voice and his excitement over what is going on in our little slice of the world was just powerful.
Husband and I are so proud to be part of the team. We have a list of core values that I am going to list right here.
Lifechurch.TV Core Values:
1) We are faith-filled, big thinking, bet-the-farm risk takers. We’ll never insult God with small thinking and safe living.
2) We are all about the “capital C” Church! The local church is the hope of the world and we know we can accomplish infinitely more together than apart.
3) We give up things we love for things we love even more. It’s an honor to sacrifice for Christ and His church.
4) We wholeheartedly reject the label mega-church. We are a micro-church with a mega-vision.
5) We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ. To reach people no one is reaching, we’ll have to do things no one is doing.
6) We will lead the way with irrational generosity. We truly believe it is more blessed to give than to receive.
7) We will laugh hard, loud and often. Nothing is more fun than serving God with people you love!
8) We always bring our best. Excellence honors God and inspires people.
9) We are spiritual contributors not spiritual consumers. The church does not exist for us. We are the church and we exist for the world.
10) We will honor Christ and His Church with integrity. If we live with integrity, nothing else matters. If we don't live with integrity, nothing else matters.
I want to point out number 7 and 9. I absolutely love those.
You know, it took a long time for Husband and I to take the plunge and serve at church. We were regular attenders, making sure not to miss and if we had to? We caught it online. Well, we helped to launch the campus we currently attend and in doing so, we signed up to volunteer. We love volunteering. I don't know why it took us so long, we have met so many great people and there is nothing quite like the feeling of being the church and existing for the world. We have since transitioned from being regular volunteers on the parking and experience prep side of things to being Host Team leads every other week. That may sound like a step down, but it's a step up. It puts us in charge of the entire Host Team of Volunteers for one service - coordinating about 40 volunteers that do everything from assist with parking, greeting, ushering, hospitality (we serve sweet tea, Starbucks coffee and chips and cookies and granola bars at each service) and Experience Prep for those that help reset the auditorium after services. Its a lot of people to keep track of, to email on our week and encourage them, make sure they are still going to be coming, and then before the service we check them all in, print nametags and lead a huddle. The Huddle invovles more encouragement or any news as well as leading the entire group of people in prayer. INTIMIDATING!
But? We love it. It gives us an "off week" to have less commitments and it gives us a chance to learn more names and meet more people and feel that much more involved. The networking has been so fun! It has been enjoyable serving, and I'm so glad we do it now. I'm sad it took so long, but thankful we are invovled now. And like number 6 says, it is more blessed to give than recieve. And giving of my time is something I can definitely do, and love to do.
So I just thought I would write a little about my love for my church. I love those core values, I love the people, I love serving and I love learning. And there is so much left to learn, that's for sure!