Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fingers and Toes

Our home church is a small group but growing. Yet, Sunday mornings usually hover around 100 believers in attendance. It is also more of a drive for us (about 17 minutes) while so many other churches are around the proverbial corner.

One of those churches is the local Church of God (COG). It's one of probably three of the "megachurches" for this relatively small city and they generally have close to 100+ families each Sunday. Our city's COG is known for its outstanding children's programs and it also has a Saturday night "come as you are" contemporary service.

When DaHubby was in the early throes of balancing full time work and full time school and in an effort to balance it all and get all his homework done, he missed several Sunday morning services at our church and took advantage the peace and quiet to work on his never ending to-do list.

Earlier this fall, I noticed the COG's sign for their Saturday night service. I started thinking about how much I missed going to church with DaHubby. About how awesome their kids' program is. And, about how close in beliefs their church is to ours. But, I couldn't fight the nagging feeling that I was somehow "betraying" my church family.

Two weeks ago, the four of us were driving past the COG just as their service was starting. I was in sweats, DaHubby in jeans, and the Vikings still had dinner on their faces. LOL We again marveled at how that church with its HUGE parking lot is ALWAYS busy. Then, DaHubby and I looked at each other and said "you want to try it?" "Yea, let's really test if it's really 'come as you are'!" So, we went. And, everyone had a wonderful time. And, they were incredibly gracious hosts. Yes, the kids' program rocks. Yes, the worship was awesome. And, yes, the senior pastor's message was good as well.

But, that's not our church.

Without going into the whole story, we know that we know that we know that we are supposed to be at our little country church right now. DaHubby plays piano and shares the responsibility of leading praise and worship with another sister-in-Christ. I sing with the P&W team and participate with the women's ministry. The kids know that church is a second home.

But, we really enjoyed the COG service.

See, that's the cool thing about the body of Christ. Our church and the local COG - we're just fingers and toes. We told our pastor we visited there and he's not stressed about it. And, we stopped and introduced ourselves to the COG pastor and praise team leader. We were polite and enthusiastic but clear that while we enjoyed ourselves and appreciated their ministries we had a church home we love.

The local COG can do amazing outreaches to the community that will touch so many lives. They have the financial power and historic presence (they're celebrating 100 years next year) to be a beacon of hope in this area.

But, our little church's ministry is elsewhere. It just serves another part of the Body. Our church has grown from 30-some people with DaHubby and I being the youngest participants and the only ones with kids to 100 people in attendance and a kids' program expanded to 3 rooms in just under 5 years.

But, we're both working for the same goal...bringing souls to Christ.

The kids and I went to the COG's Saturday night service again tonight to get out of DaHubby's hair for a bit so he could get some work done. And, again, they were incredibly gracious hosts. I even joked with praise and worship leader that his line-up of music was so good that we'd be stealing for our service in the morning. I even ran into someone DaHubby used to work with and his wife. The kids had fun. I got to worship, sit quietly without the Vikings interrupting and actually *hear* the message! LOL It was wonderful.

But, we'll be in our regular seats tomorrow morning with all DaHubby's family around us, and amid our wonderful church family.

We're just fingers and toes.

Incidentally, that's how I feel about my bloggy friends as well. We don't often discuss our denominational differences. We focus on what we have in common - our love for Christ and serving Him and others. For example, I'd like to think that Anita and I will have our mansions in Heaven right next door some day. And, hopefully, GiBee won't be too far down the block. And, it would be cool if Sara's and Lisa's heavenly homes just up against my back fence! LOL Like most of my bloggy friends, I've never met these wonderful ladies in real life. Yet, I know they are serving Christ in their communities just like I'm trying to do here.

Again, we're all just fingers and toes.


Lisa said...

This is a great post!

Laetitia said...

What a post! Beth , you rock! Seriously! I have so much respect for you and your thoughts. I'm just sorry I didn't get to know you better when I had the chance! You are so amazing! I look for your posts everyday, THANK YOU! Please don't change! You really are an example for the rest of us in SO many respects!