Church in a movie theater? Yep. It works. Why? The building is not the important part, the people invite the presence of the Lord to meet them there, or they don’t. And every Sunday, this place is full. And I’m not just talking about the people.
My husband is currently on staff with Rock City Church. People asks how he “likes” it. Perhaps they even wonder as to how one takes that leap of faith in moving from Corporate America and entering into this world of work labeled “ministry”. His answer, every time, is “I love it.”
Now, we all are aware that “love it” can take on a variety of meanings. When asked, “How was that movie?” ”Love it.” ”How was that new restaurant?” “Love it.” ”What did you think about that new app?” ”Love it.” I’m pretty sure the same connotation is not what Aaron is intending.
Let me tell you, from a wife’s perspective what I see…
I hear many words spoken at the dinner table. These words are spoken with a fervor, some may say a passion, or words spoken passionately. Topics range from dreams and visions, to tasks and processes. Some words pertain to heart lessons, others are stated with a sense of awe and wonder as to the generosity of others. Words are heard, and yet I see.
I see a purpose-driven life. I see a sacrificial heart that continues to strive, not only in the daily tasks, but in ways to improve the future of ministry processes, big-picture stuff. I see dedication to the mundane serving tasks. I see a grateful heart, one that does not complain about time nor tasks. I see a heart who is serving his Lord in His skill set. I see a man who is happy.
And that is all I have ever wanted and/or prayed for my husband.
Is everything hearts and stars? Dear Lord no. Ministry is messy. Just no way around it. People are messy, therefore, anytime people meet together – mess. Add in the ingredient of sharing the Lord’s message, you get a side of Satan. And yet, my husband is happy. And my heart is content.
Yesterday, we celebrated.
Hundreds of volunteers gathered to share and receive.
We ate, we took pictures, we shared stories, and vision was cast.
And I’m so proud to call Rock City my home. Not because I’m a staff wife, simply because here, I “get” to honor and glorify His name. I GET to join with fellow brothers and sisters, locking eyes on the mission of reaching the lost and the spiritually restless in Columbus Ohio with the message of Jesus.
He IS at work amongst this gathering of followers. He alone receives all credit. He has a purpose and a plan, and it will prevail.
Pastor Chad will be starting a new series this Easter Sunday. Perhaps you too have been wondering what God is really up to? What is this day-to-day faith living really all about anyway?
One way I’m learning to live out this thing called faith is by simply doing the “next” thing. After our big bash on Sunday, we began the process of cleaning up, and we noticed that there were several trays of food left over. Not wanting it to go to waste, we tossed around some ideas of what to do. The Lord has connected Rock City with several community outreach organizations, so we had a conversation. A decision was reached, I was given information as to the location, and we loaded up the mini-van.
Funny thing I’ve learned, this “next step” thing is often taken only one at a time. The kids and I had a plan, this their first day of Spring Break. And yet, we could not locate the destination, so we attended to an appointment, and I took a moment to recalculate. Should we go back and try again? Should we forget the trip all together? Should we try another source and re-evaluate the error of our journey? THIS, my friends, is the adventure of life with God. When put to prayer, I knew. Recalculate, see this thing out.
And so we did. And we found our error. But I knew this was really no error. God’s timing was simply not yet revealed. I had a sneaky suspicion a story would ensue.
We did, in fact, arrive at a church called St. Sophia. It is a Greek-Orthodox church. From the outside it appeared dated, and the size was humbly small in nature. I knocked on the door, and the bark of a small dog could be heard. Within a few minutes, a man emerged. He was dressed in a black smock, black head covering with white, wavy hair protruding, and he was talking on a cell phone. I smiled. I waited. He talked slowly and calmly with the person on the receiving end. He did not appear rushed by my presence, and in fact, welcomed me in.
While waiting, I gazed around at the inside of the building. Surprising, it was beautifully ornate. Several ornate portraits hung with care, ornate moldings in gold lined the room separating it into two small areas. I would guess that perhaps 30 people could be seated comfortable, and though it was neat and clean, the air smelled aged and stale.
He ended his phone conversation. Apologized for the wait. I introduced myself and stated my purpose. Then he instructed me to pull around to the side where we could load our donation more easily. Happy to oblige and to share my findings with three pairs of eager eyes staring out the van window, we relocated and started to transport our meager wares. As my son and I brought in the trays, I noticed two things:
My demeanor was unusually jittery, and my son’s demeanor was calm and collected.
Though he kept to the task, Austin’s spirit lingered a bit. He was intrigued, perhaps a bit entranced by this strange new man. He spoke kind words of gratitude, and that our “timing” was perfect. He inquired as to my son’s name and engaged him in a bit of wordplay. He spoke of the men that would gather as a consortium that evening and the following morning, discussing world issues and solving international catastrophes, all over our meager donations of bread and chicken. He saw this banquet we were bringing as more than a meal, He saw it as a means to reach the “leftovers” of society with the provision of Jesus Christ.
And standing in this small basement room with square tables and folding chairs from the 50′s, I could barely breathe. I wanted to stay. I wanted to leave. I knew my heart was being pricked. And as I drove away, I knew I would retell this story with a heart that burst with tears. For today, I was given the privilege of standing in the presence of man who very much represented Jesus in the flesh. I read in the Bible of those who pressed into Jesus just to be able to touch his robe, I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I did not feel worthy, even to pray a few words with him.
This man epitomizes the humble servant. I can only imagine He has served the Lord for years. He has very little in the eyes of the world. His congregation is not doubling every week. He is not know by thousands of people. I’m guessing by the age of his flip-phone, he does not have too many twitter followers or facebook friends. He may not even know where his own next meal will come from, and yet he possessed this inner peace that simply overtook my spirit, and drew my son’s in even closer.
Does he hold less value than the pastors leading mega-churches all across the world?
I would venture to say He holds more. His purpose, though different than others, has a value that can’t be calculated. For He is living out our greatest command:
Luke 10:27 - “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
THIS was the best part of the day. Though only spending a few moments, my children witnessed a man who loves God. We will remember this for a long time to come. Thank you Rock City for this opportunity.
What could happen in your day today?