What church is supposed to be…
We had a great night last night. A night that makes me proud to serve this church.
At our church we have a basketball hoop, a field, a hill in our parking lot that’s good for skating and we have relationships with community youth through our Rec program. Because of those things, there are about 20 students in our parking lot every evening hanging out. They’ve discovered that, not only are we not going to kick them off the property, we’re actually thrilled that they’re here.
I’ve been telling people in the church how cool it is that the teenagers feel comfortable here and what a great opportunity for ministry it is. Everyone agrees. The language is colorful, they sometimes leave garbage in our parking lot and they aren’t the safest skaters in the world … but that’s alright. They like it here and we like having them here.
So last night we had ‘rec’ here. Another leader and I got to the church about an hour early and hung out outside with everyone. We ate popsicles, talked about school, relationships and the new Tuesday night bible study we’re starting. They asked if they could see where we have church on Sunday mornings so I gave them a tour of the building. We stopped and bugged Pastor Wayne in his office, I showed them where my office is and told them anytime my car is here, they’re welcome to stop in and see me… and they were blown away by the sanctuary. They asked where we baptize people, why we have drums, where I sit, all sorts of things.
We got back outside and got ready for rec to officially “start” … as we were opening up the doors and getting everything situated, 3 of our retired church members showed up in a pick up truck. They unloaded a grill and proceeded to cook up about 100 hot dogs. This was not an official part of the plan for the night. They just felt compelled to come up and hang with the students. The teenagers were shocked that total strangers would come and just cook for them, for free. They helped them set up, tear down and thanked them profusely. These awesome followers of Christ assured the students that they’d be back to cook for them again next week.
We had almost 50 students kicking around. We had a football game going in the field, a basketball game going in the parking lot, a smorgasbord of skateboards, bikes and razors, a few attempts at ultimate frisbee and lots of just chilling and chatting around the church. I handed out over 200 popsicles, 6 bibles and 10 sheets for students to work on during the week for the bible study.
The pastor looked at me at one point and said “This is what church is supposed to be”
I’m not sure why I’m blessed enough to serve in this church with these people … but I’m brought to my knees this morning in thankfulness.