We’ve had some changes at our church lately. Our senior pastor stepped out of that role and into one geared toward outreach. Our associate pastor accepted the responsibilities of what will now be called lead pastor. These changes led naturally to some other changes—moving some furniture, moving the worship team, etc. The focus of our church, honoring God and learning more about how to follow Him, has not changed. Neither has the true leadership of our church. God is still in charge, since every decision is prayerfully considered in light of the purpose of our church.
Still, it probably won’t surprise anyone that, with a change in pastor, there have been some who have decided to move on. Honestly, if they are being called to another congregation they go with my blessing and that of everyone else. It has led to some interesting discussions in our home, though. The Furry Guy and I have been talking about why we attend our church.
First and foremost, we feel the Holy Spirit there. We feel him other places, too, but it is clear to us that the Spirit is welcome and involved at this church. The focus really is God. Worship is about connecting with God. There’s solid preaching about how to apply Biblical principles to your life. No, the style isn’t necessarily one that would appeal to everyone. But, it’s a place where God is worshipped and honored.
Second, it’s a place where everyone is welcome. And, I do mean everyone. If you’re living a life that isn’t pleasing to God, you won’t hear that the things you’re doing are right. But, you’ll be welcome to attend. When you walk into our building on a Sunday morning you’ll see just about every manner of dress. You’ll see tattoos and piercings. You’ll see little old ladies and teenage boys. If you want to be there, you’re welcome. As a matter of fact, you’re welcome if you’ve been dragged there by your grandma.
Finally, it’s not a jealous church. If you are called to go elsewhere, go. If God is calling you to serve in another church, go. If God is tugging your heart toward a mission of any kind, whether that’s across town, across the country, or on the other side of the world, go.
Some people have chosen to leave, and, as I said, that’s fine. I sincerely hope they find a place that suits their style and personality. As for us, we’re here for the long haul.