Monday, April 12, 2010

Week 14

Week 14 consisted of mainly people from a church we visited in Corning.  A really neat one, actually, with a lot of genuinely nice people.  It seemed gospel-centered, yet down-to-earth- always a good combination.  The only thing that made it seem slightly cultish were the number of people who told us that they moved to the city for for the sole purpose of attending that particular church, rather than for work, family, or other things.  That initially made me think- ooooOOO! that church must have something special. . . my precious. . . . then I thought about the fact that God doesn't just live in Corning, NY.  Why didn't people use their spiritual enthusiasm to benefit the community they were already plugged into?  Nothing against them, but I think it's a valid question.

Among the really nice people we met were Chatrice, the greeter at the door.  PJ, a friendly young father who lead worship and played guitar- the gentleman on bass looked like his twin brother, but I didn't get a chance to ask him.

On our way out we were first snagged by a couple- a rolly-polly and super tall guy with a white beard, named Michael, and his lovely other quarter, JoAnn.  They were very welcoming, and told us about how they had moved to the town just because of the church.

A little further down the hall we were intercepted by a friendly guy named Steve- he was one of the most interesting characters, being originally from Texas and having relatives in some of the small towns where I've lived.

The friendly congregation did everything they could to get us plugged in immediately- inviting us to a pic-nic after the service, to a weekly young-couples get together at someone's house, and Steve said he had too many kids to count, but would still like to cram us into his minivan and take us out to lunch sometime to exchange "Texas stories."

I've got to admit, if we lived in Corning our church search would be over.  It was a tough battle, resisting all of the open arms and extended invitations there. . . . Maybe we should just quit our jobs and move to- Wait! No! Stop it!
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If there's not a body of believers we can join for meaningful fellowship and service to the local community that we'll be living in,  within a reasonable commute to my job, which brought us here in the first place, then maybe we are meant to help initiate something of the sort.  Somehow, to me, it seems more Christian to keep ourselves open to serve where we can do it most effectively (locally) and where it is most needed, than to stretch ourselves thin in an effort to make ourselves comfortable within an already established nest of like-minded people thirty plus minutes from where we live.

If I quit my job and moved to a town, solely for the sake of a particular church, I would feel more like a spiritual sojourner or, worse yet, a leech than a champion for the Gospel.  Besides, isn't that the opposite of what missionaries do?

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