Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Five Things I Love About My Church

As I am getting ready for sabbatical I wanted to take some time to share about some of the things that I love about my church.  When I look back on the last seven years of my life I cannot help but look at how much my church has invested into me.  It is a crazy thought to think about how much I have changed here in the last seven years (I came as an unmarried twenty-four year old).  As I reflect on my time at South  Hills it seemed right to just remind myself about how rad my church is and how many things I love about it!

I remember when I first moved here I was unmarried and twenty-four years old.  My fiance and my mom came to visit me for Christmas.  My pastor asked me if we had plans for Christmas dinner and I told him that we didn't.  That year we spent Christmas dinner at his house with his family.  When my kids were born people came to the hospital to love on them and pray for them (when Sophie had to stay there).  I was reminded about how much my family is loved just last week when all of them came to the office to just hang out.  My girls have freedom to run around the office, make noise and interrupt any staff member they choose.  Its nice to be at a church where you are not looked at like a burden and your family is more than welcome to come around and just spend some time with the team.

There are many people who feel like they are not allowed to fail in their roles.  I know that I have been given freedom to fail in my church.  I know this because I have been allowed to try some crazy things that it was going to take God to pull it off!  A few years ago we did an event called "Battle for a Grand" and I really had no clue if we could pull it off.  After some planning and making it happen we had over 600 people in our church on Friday night to hear students play music to win a thousand dollars.  That time we succeeded.  I have also failed and had times where I wanted to quit but my church has always allowed me to think out of the box and try things that are going to take God to pull it off!

There are lots of churches that say they care about young people and they really care about investing into them.  There are also lots of churches who say they care about young people but they would prefer to not invest any money into developing them.  My church cares about young people and invests into them with time and resources.  For years we have taken young adults and older high school kids to the Leadership Summit (by Willow Creek) to help them grow into better leaders.  Ok, that's not good enough for you?  My church helped me get through seminary for the last six years.  They gave me time to write papers, they let me have time off to go away for weeks at a time to study and they encouraged me this whole time.

Over the years I have always loved the people I have worked with.  I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing pastors, admins, interns, worship leaders and current missionaries.  We have had some super fun times as a staff and we have worked through some tough situations.  I remember one time we went on a house boat retreat to do some staff planning.  While on that trip we also did some fishing, wake boarding and riding Jet Skis.  Our staff knows how to have fun but it also knows how to work hard.  I am reminded about how important it is, for me, to work with people that I love, that make me laugh and that challenge me to grow.  

Not the final thing but the last thing I am going to write about today is how my church expects God to move.  Our leaders have thought up some crazy goals and every time they expect God to move.  We trust that God is leading our team.  We trust that God speaks to us in prayer and we trust that God wants to move in the lives of people in new ways.  We expect God to move so much that our church has given me time off to seek God and His direction in my life and ministry.

These are just five things that I love about my church; I suspect that if I were to write more you may stop reading.  What are some things that you love about your church? 

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