…This blog began. The first post is still a fun story I share with people all the time. We’d been looking for a great church. Not a good one, but a great one. Some friends suggested sending my little daughter to VBS at, Cornerstone Bible Fellowship, and we agreed it would be good for her. I always enjoyed VBS when I was a kiddo, so why not? The neighbors who offered to take her were part of the church and had always presented themselves as upstanding and decent. My wife and I agreed, and off she went.
Day five of VBS rolled around and there was a luncheon with the kids at church. All the children invited their folks. I wasn’t able to go, so wifey was tasked with bringing back a full situation report. That she did. “I think this is your kind of church. We should check it out.” We made arrangements to attend the Sunday morning service and when we headed in, we let our daughter show us around. We wanted her to have a sense of ownership of her time over the last week and allow it to build confidence as well. Additionally, we agreed little Miss could choose our seats.
As we walked into the sanctuary, people were spread out all over. Imagine 350 possible seats in pews at half capacity. …All of which was occupied from about halfway down and populated more heavily the further back they went. That’s right. Nobody was in the front half of the pews.
We bumped into the music Pastor’s wife who recognized us. We made some small talk. We mentioned that our daughter was choosing the seats for us, to which my little daughter grinned. The Pastor’s wife then, unknowingly, changed the course of our lives by blurting out a quick sentence in jest, “There’s plenty of room in the front row,” or something along those lines. My daughter lit and up and zipped straight down to the front row.
My wife smiled and muttered under her breath, “no way….” But we committed to our cherub we’d let her choose and I wasn’t about to NOT follow through. So we meandered down to the very front row, right in front of the Pastor, and staked our claim. I held some slim hope that I’d have somebody pop over to say, “So and so usually sets there.” But, no such luck.
The first bit was kind of rough. Imagine being the new family, setting in the front row, with 7 or 8 empty pews all the way back before a row with human inhabitants could be found… Things really did start off weird. But I’ll tell you all with no shame, the discomfort for me was gone very quickly. We sang for a bit, then the sermon began. I was taken in rather quickly.
I’d spent a good portion of my church life experiencing themed preaching. It was fine. But I wasn’t prepared for the genre of expository preaching I was about to embrace. The Pastor did a phenomenal job of providing crucial context as he cited scripture to solidify the passage we were discerning. It wasn’t until after the sermon had ended that I noticed my time spent “front and center” seemed as if it was simply him and me in the room. I wasn’t distracted by people, things, noises, or anything else. The Pastor was speaking to me and me alone. I suspected at that moment, I’d never willingly set elsewhere. I also wondered why the rest of that church wasn’t fighting like dogs in the street for the best spot in the house.
I’ll admit it took a bit of time for others to realize what I had, so there was some reluctance at first. But I believe they’ve come to realize, as a family, we’re in the exact place we need to be. I didn’t know I’d be energized to author a blog. I didn’t know I’d dig and delve deeply into my faith – more so than ever before in my life. I didn’t know I’d become integrated into a loving and committed church family. I didn’t know our family would become members of this church. What I did know was simple… I liked the ways we were being fed, and I believed that was valuable for us. It was time for us to pitch in and become part of something special as defined by Him.
We’ve enjoyed some fantastic highs together and endured so really horrible lows. Churches are comprised of people, so things aren’t going to go well all the time. But, when you keep things biblical, you usually end up on the high ground. The more you import the ways of the world, the more complex things seem to get. Keeping things biblical is what He asks and makes for sturdy foundations, and manageable problems as they naturally arise. Here we are 6 years later. I’ve learned, lost, and loved. All of which I can master with Him.
Salt and light my friends. I pray you are salt and light.
My son and my Elder at our church. These are the kinds of experiences you’ll only find in your church. Get to yours and engage: