If you know me, you know i don't relax well. That sounds ridiculous, even as I type it. However I know, i need to be in the right frame of mind to relax, it's one of my worst personality traits.
Yesterday I went looking for a church to go to today, I searched a number of different ways on google, but I could find a church that I felt I wanted to go to or that I felt lead to. I wanted something relevant, something like Metro. Today I kept searching, finally getting the bright idea to search 'non-denominational church'. Up came Baypoint Community Church. It looked modern, and relevant, and it was 5 minutes away... I know that church can't bring you closer to God, but sometimes it helps us to start our week off or get us focused or whatever. I've been at church for the last couple weeks but I'll be honest, I've been running around trying to get everything ready for this or that, I haven't actually sat through 'service'. Today I almost felt a sort of unrest. I needed to go to church.. If you can judge church by it's website, this looked very cool, very real, very relevant.
I ventured out this morning, stopping for an iced tea at the 'coffee bean' and a blueberry muffin because of my poor timing I missed breakfast. I was starting to get a headache.
I knew going in, this wasn't going to be a normal service because it was their 10th anniversary celebration. Truth be told, I really wanted to see how God had moved in the life of this chruch. That is always exciting to see.
First thing I noticed that they have 'first timers' parking and entrance. Nice, because I hate trying to figure out where to go in, especially since this church was pretty big. One thing I was surprised by was that their greeters were not overly excited for me to be coming in. Now this could be for a couple of reasons. After attending the church they had stated that the wanted to tip the scales to the non-believer. They seem to be what I could label as an outreach church, which is awesome! They may not want 'seekers' to be overwhelmed by some over enthusiastic Christ Follower first thing walking in. However, I wanted to learn more about this church. I figured I would ask later.
The life of this church is definitely friendly. You can tell that these people love and care about each other. They were very busy speaking with each other, so much, that no one noticed me. And I'm usually hard to miss :) As part of our first 5 group, I pray that we don't let anyone go unnoticed. After service, one woman, Marsha, after I spoke with her was so kind and walked me around the church, telling me how much she loved it, bragging on it, and she unashamedly called it home. That kind of thing makes my heart sing.
Their pastor, Nick Twomey, spoke about the decisions that they've made with this church, and where they are going. They've already started to outgrow their building in about one year of being there, how great is that! It means God is moving through them in this community. His love is spreading and people don't just know about it, they feel it.
Praise and Worship was what I could best describe as "lakewood-esque". Quality. Not exactly my type of music, however, God breathed. I was encouraged by the teens in the worship band (you know I love those teens!). I engaged in the words to the song, instantly connecting with God.
The pastor walked about the decisions the church had made since the very beginning. How building people where more important than building buildings. That always makes me smile because it shows that he is carrying God's vision not his own, that shows the true character of his leadership.
He also talked about the vision for the next 10 years. One great thing he brought up was the need for another service, and how Saturday nights was really the best option for a 3rd service, but it would burn out the staff (Go Pastor Nick!) for saying no to that. I don't think it's good to burn out anyone, even in the name of Jesus.
And it was their baptism day... they do it in Grand Travese Bay... 80 today! 80 lives changed by Christ and showing the world they love and follow Him.
This church made me appreciate my own church, friends, and pastor.
What a great experience from beginning to end.
After that, I was able to relax on the water.
Thanks be to God for today.