Faith Stories: About Being Community
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10: 24-25
At a church meeting last year Pastor Jay posed this question – can you be a Christian without coming to church? Sounds like a trick question, doesn’t it? My first thoughts stemmed back to the time I had experienced between church memberships. I made many excuses for that long interim – physical moves, a spouse of another faith, too busy to get involved – it was a pitiful list! I had always attended and belonged to a church as a child, teen, young adult, and well into my forties. I had always been active in these churches and cherished the fellowship they brought to me. But when the first big move came, I fell away from church attendance and commitment. Believing I was a ‘good person’ and I could speak to God directly, I took the ‘easy’ way out and quit attending church.
That period of drifting lasted entirely too long. After our move to Baton Rouge I would drive by St. John’s and feel a tug of something missing. This church seemed to be calling out to me in some strange way. It always brought back wonderful memories of past churches to which I had belonged. I can’t remember exactly what drew me to St. John’s the first time. Well, actually I do know. It was God calling me back home.
So I became part of this new and loving family, a community of believers that welcomed me into St. John’s. Now, as our church grows, I feel special pride in so many ways! I love the diversity of our church, its many outreach ministries, and its membership growth at a time when so many traditional churches are faltering. At communion time on Sunday I just love hearing Pastor Jay say, “This is not a Methodist table but . . .” When he said, “You can’t be a Christian and the Lone Ranger at the same time” – I get it!
Acts 2:42, in its description of Pentecost, states this about the first church, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” From Verse 44 – “All the believers were together and had everything in common.” St. John’s is a community of believers, all different but unique, and I am so glad to be a part of it.