Before I begin, let me say a couple of things: Our church is not the only church in America. It is not better than your church. And then yours isn’t better then ours. We do not stand on a pedestal and pat ourselves on the back for how we do it “BETTA!” I say these things to be clear about my intentions in this post. This is not a game of comparison. No, this is simply to express how this local church that I’ve been a part of has rocked my world. This is my own experience. Besides, I think you should tell other about what changes you… Anyway, we share our testimony & encourage-bless someone with it…
A few years ago, I almost became a leaver. In fact, for too long I hovered in between the realms of loving and leaving. Not so any longer. Count me as being squarely in the camp of those who love the church. Sure the church has some issues, but the joy of being part of Christ’s bride far outweighs the blemishes that some (including myself) have brought upon the church. I have also read some pretty horrendous blog posts, but still love to participate in the blogging world.
I could go on with generalities, but let me tell you why I love the church of which I am a member. At a tyme when confidence in religion is fading and many view the Church in a negative light, members at this modestly sized church is going against the grain and offering a different perspective. Who would want to go to the same old, same old kind of church? Not me. Philadelphia in general is a true melting pot of ethnicity, cultures and languages. Though these challenges can seem overwhelming at tymes as we draw a population of members who often are in transition in many aspects of our lives, I feel that together we are paving a new way doing church.
And, of course, there is a long road of growth needed ahead of us, but there is a depth of character and authenticity here that naturally flows out of how cool these people are. Church it’s more than a building or an hour or two on the weekend. The heart of a church is the people who gather there to follow Christ together. But it’s what happens along the way that is truly inspiring! I love my church because:
• It is exciting to be a part of something where you see God changing people’s lives every freakin’ day.
• I love that some of the people I call my closest friends were people I did NOT know a years ago.
• I love a place where you can ask for nearly anything, and there’s ALWAYS someone ready to say “yes” to help out.
• I love being part of a group of people who go out of their way to help people who are sick or hurting.
• I love that my best friends aren’t perfect people. They are sinners just like me. We don’t hide it. We don’t pretend to have it altogether. But we DO grow together as we turn away from sin and move closer towards God.
• I have friends who will get in my face and tell me to get over myself.
• I love that our Praise and Worship Ministry won’t put God in a box and aims to make hymns accessible again by arranging hymnal remixes to keep the traditionalist pleased and the modernist engaged.
• Man, this is too easy. I could post on and on forever (maybe that’s the point). But here’s the bottom line:
• I love my church because it is the body of Christ. It is the bride of Christ. And through my church – as His hands, His feet – I believe God is just getting started on what he’s going to do. After all, it is His body – His church – and I’m just blown away to get to be a part of it.
We are motivated to shine the spotlight on God. We are not about personalities and ingenious strategies. We do have personalities and strategies, but these are merely instruments to honoring the name of God. We pursue ongoing gospel transformation. This shows up in the love and encouragement amongst the family of faith. In my short tyme at the church, I have been strengthened and challenged to grow in my personal and corporate walk with the Lord. We have a rich theological foundation built on those truths known as reformed doctrine. This is not an angry, harsh reformational theology. It is one that is demonstrated by the joy of serving an amazing God. The Scriptures provide the basis for all that we strive to be and do.
All of us have probably seen churches or organizations who have a disconnect between their actions and their vision statements. Such is not the case here! This is a church that deeply desires to live out what is articulated in the vision statement lived out in our leaders and in the congregation. I was raised in the church and I have been blessed to have been part of some wonderful ministries both as a leader and as a parishioner. So I can truly say that our ministry is led by a man like David (A Man After God’s Own Heart). Pastor R. Shawn Edmonds who has consistently demonstrated to be faithful in his role as shepherds. Personally, he has ministered to my wife and me in a manner that benefits us greatly. Jeremiah 3:15
I could go on, but you get the idea. I LOVE MY CHURCH! OH! So you ask what church I attend? Well I’m glad you asked! My church is:
and Fellowship Worship Center and we believe
“Greater Faith. Greater People.“
1700 Lindley Avenue (Intersection of Lindley and Ogontz Aves)