Don’t forget that I’ve dedicated a post to letting people sound off from where they live in the world. There is actually a sub-discussion occurring about the famed Lambert’s Cafe, a place at which at least half the bloggers seem to have committed the sin of gluttony. Click here to visit that site and catch up on the conversation.
We had three people place membership on Sunday. It was a real blessing for this church. They represent such a vital part of our community that we desperately need more of. That being, the young singles group. Within 2 miles of our building are 66,000 singles under the age of 30. That represents 1/3 of the population of our two-mile ministry area.
These three were not the lone new members, however. It has struck several of us that God has decided to challenge us by expanding the size of the flock he wants us to shepherd. Just for kicks, I went through the records and found 16 adults who placed membership in the six months alone. This means very little on a church health level, but when you roll in the fact that there are so many great visitors coming back week after week, not all of whom are from C of C backgrounds, we begin to get an idea of what a great challenge God is presenting us.
God blessed my life in an extra special way this past Sunday with a conversation with one of our first-time visitors. He told me he was surprised when his friend and neighbor asked him to come to church with him. Not so much because of the invite, but because she went to a Church of Christ. He grew up C of C and, like many of us, have a lineage of elders, deacons, and ministers that he follows. His dad was a C of C preacher until a couple years ago when he moved to an even more non-denominational group. The visitor himself had been attending a denominational church since leaving the house.
His simple comment was incredibly powerful. He said, "This service was great! I was surprised. I mean, it is a Church of Christ…" As he spoke, I watched as his mind tried to process the service he’d just experienced with decades of tradition and unmet expectations. It was almost as if his heart was screaming, "There’s hope!"
That simple comment was more of a compliment than I could have bought or made up myself. The Spirit is alive and moving in Arlington. I just hope I don’t get in the way!