I've been going to the Triple Seven Baptist Church for a few months now. Some months I revert to old, bad habits and hide away from the world when it's been a rough week (or month). But I've been trying hard to go more regularly and I've noticed something.
Not only has my spiritual life gotten better since I've been attending church regularly, but it's gotten deeper since I've picked (or been picked by) this church. I feel closer to God, I feel like I am held accountable for my actions, and I feel deeply supported in the face of a rough few months.
Everyone is going to look for something different in the church they call their own. They'll want different things in their worship ministry, they'll want a different style of leadership or discipleship, they'll want more (or less, or deeper) mission work. It's all very subjective.
The following is what I think makes a church become our home, what makes a church matter.
What Makes a Church a Home
It isn’t the sign that we see from the street,
And it isn’t the numbers of people we meet.
It’s not if the walls are brick, siding or stone,
It shelters all ages, from infants to grown.
Not the size of the group nor the name on the door
The style of the song or the length of the floor
The tempo of music or the language of love,
We all do one thing – learn of our Father above.
So what makes a church, now we know what it’s not?
What makes it our home and the truth that we’ve sought?
What brings us together, week in and week out,
What, in the end, is what church is about?
My church knows me by name and they welcome me in
They offer warm hugs and they call me their friend.
They don’t look sideways at the clothes that I wear,
Or the car that I drive or the style of my hair.
They look to the Bible for the truth that they seek
Their attitudes humble and their prayers for the weak.
They ask for God’s blessing, and they ask for His grace,
They offer so much for all who enter this place.
Hearts of service and love, devotion and praise
A pastor who loves God all the length of his days.
If I need a shoulder, they will offer much more
And rejoice with me also when my heart’s not so sore.
A church is the love that our Father sends down
Shared freely and deeply, and passed all around.
A church is the Truth, about things giant and small
A church is the Hope that God offers us all.
(Casey Fogle, November 2013)