Church Isn't a Building!

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“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  Romans 12:4-5
I love my church, beyond words.   I love my pastor. I love the campus pastors. I love the people I get to love on and meet because of them.  It’s a wonderful place.  There is always a seat next to me available if you want to join me.  It’s a great place to meet Jesus.
The last three weeks, my husband and I have been traveling.  I don’t diss church just because I’m not at home.  As much as I love my church, I also believe being in church is so important when we’re not at home, we always find a church to visit.  Church is not a building, church is the people who fill it.
The amazing part of visiting churches while we’re gone is the ability to briefly connect with other believer’s.  Other’s that are persevering and pushing through the hard times, because there are always hard times.  Don’t be fooled.  Christ didn’t promise a rose garden, Christ told the truth:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33  
I have been reflecting on the churches we have visited this summer.  They are all so different, but one thing remains the same, Jesus.  They are all seeking and loving Jesus.  I found Jesus everywhere we went.
Hilton Head Island Community Church is the first church my husband and I attended as a married couple.  That is where we went on our honeymoon.  We were married on a Friday night.  We left on Saturday and we kicked off our honeymoon by going to church.  They were doing a sermon series on marriage. I don’t think that was a coincidence.  I love going back every chance we get.  I love that it is the same lead pastor.  I love that his wife is still leading worship.  I love that this year, they are expanding.  I love that they are buying a new building and they are creating a community center.  I love how God is working in their church.
Life Community Church is where we went next.  It is a church I helped plant 11 years ago.   This church has a huge part of my heart, because of the people.  Mike and Lynda changed my life.  I can’t put into words what their love for me, truly unconditional has done.  When they were called to plant this church, I knew I was called to help them.   I can’t put into words what they mean to me, or LCC.  In February of this year, their lives were changed forever.  As Mike and Bryan, his son, were finishing a home for a homeless vet, they were robbed at gunpoint.  Mike was shot five times and Bryan was killed.  Bryan left behind a beautiful wife and daughter.  I cannot put into words how devastating this loss has been.  Bryan was their worship leader.  As I was helping set up for church, because that is what we do when God gives us the opportunity to worship with them, I wondered why there were so many boxes of tissues?  Then I realized, this church sheds a lot of tears.  This church is in the depths of grieving.  And Jesus is there.  He is in the midst of their grief.  He is comforting them in ways that only He can.  Jesus is there.
Last weekend, we had the privilege of worshipping in Harligen, TX with our Uncle Earl.  I loved their church!  The people were so welcoming and inviting.  They have an incredible homeless ministry.  They put out food every Sunday morning.  The homeless in the area come and partake.  The love of Jesus was  so strong in this church.  And they have Holy Yoga!  I truly wish we were there long enough for me to take the class.  But wow, did I feel the love of Jesus!  I just have to brag on Uncle Earl, he inspires me.  He checks in every week at church to invite people to come with him.  He runs the elevator, but it’s so much more than that.  The conversations that take place on those elevator rides, not a word is wasted.  Love is shared.  My favorite part was the elderly lady that sat next to me.  When we started to sing the hymns this beautiful soprano voice rose from beside me.  I saw a glimpse of her youth as I heard her sing the words.  Her love of the Lord flowed so freely from her lips.  It was a divine appointment to sit beside her this past Sunday.
I love my church.  Beyond words.  I miss it when we aren’t there.  I’ve listened to every message I missed while we were gone.  I’m grateful to be a part of it, more than words can say.  I’m also very grateful that God is alive.  I’m grateful wherever I go, He is there.  I’m encouraged to worship with others and know God is there.
Church is so much more than a building.  Church is the people who are seeking God.  Who are persevering, who are enduring.  Church is us.  Wherever we go, whatever we do, whoever we are with, church is us!
God is always there, no matter what.  It’s up to us to remember that!  It’s up to us to look for Him!
 

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