Excuse my grammar, but because I hear so many pastors talking about "their church" I thought I would clarify something.
I love God's church in Sun City. I am highly honored by His willingness to allow me to be called Pastor at His church in Sun City. To care for His "sheep", and call His people to worship. There are times, I must admit, when I forget it is His church and I try to figure out everything, and draw conclusions when He has everything taken care of. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus talks to Peter and says, "Peter I will build my church with people like you",,,like the people at Friendship Church in Sun City and the "gates of hell will not prevail..."
As I read this week, one wrote, "The church is marching into all the hells in this world, ready to reclaim every square inch for Christ." He is right. Our territory is the Coachella Valley, and the reach of our mission giving, but we must remain unified, compassionate, and active. God will honor that in His church.
Do you know why I love Friendship Church so much? Well, we sing the old hymns full of theology and hope. We are friendly to one another. We extend the "right hand of fellowship to all who enter our doors. We give, even sacrificially, to the cause of world outreach. (More than half of our income is given away.) We do not "gripe and complain" so much. Oh, I know we have some things that bug us, but not so much that it divides the congregation. We care for the sick, the shut-ins, and the lonely, they become a priority. we teach Bible based messages. But at the top of the list Friendship Church is a happy place. We laugh a lot. We make one another laugh. We have dedicated leaders who give hours of their time to ensure that Friendship Church maintains it's standing in God's eyes.
So when you join us for worship this next Sunday, and you see an old guy like me up front just remember "it ain't my church". I just worship here - like you do. It is His church, and we are the custodians of a group of people God loves very much. See you on Sunday.
"We have different gifts: If it is serving, let him serve; If it is teaching, let him teach; If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." Romans 12:6-8 SO BE IT!
- Pastor HB