#8- I am thankful for my church
If you have followed my blog in the past, you know this is something I really value. I truly love being a part of the community of believers at AB Church.
We have been a part of this fellowship for a year and a half and it began to feel like a family from very early on. There was something very right about being a part of ABC, something that could only be orchestrated by God. While we waited to see where we'd go after our previous church was closed, we had to believe that there was something out there that was worth waiting for. We can confidently see that now. After the West Campus, we couldn't go back to just attending a church with a bunch of people. We had been a part of a group that served together, loved one another, stuck out the tough times. Personally, it was a group that meant a lot to my heart. They were the group that treated us as peers even though we were the youngest couple in the congregation, celebrated with us when we found out we were having our son, encouraged us in a thousand different ways and taught us so much through their actions. My husband partnered with one of his best friends and worked with an incredible leadership team that he respected and loved. I didn't think all that could be replaced. And it can't. I still have sweet memories and warm thoughts when I remember those days together.
Then came AB Church. I love this church for a hundred reasons. My husband is on staff with a team that supports and encourages him, gives him freedom to use the gifts God has placed within him and that he loves serving with. As a wife, I am absolutely grateful for that in his life. We have some wonderful friends though this group that welcomed us in immediately. The congregation is very supportive of my husband's leadership and again, his age has not been a problem. He works with a team that not only has a ton of talent but has an incredible heart and within that team he has found some wonderful, encouraging friends. I have gotten the chance to serve again in ways that lift me up. Our son has been loved on and shown so much kindness and he absolutely loves going to church. And this group celebrated with us when we found out that we were having our second child.
But beyond just why it has been good for us, I love ABC for who they are. They are a community. Our pastor says he dislikes the term "volunteer" in the church. People are encouraged to serve within their gifts and that is obvious in how people work together. I again get to see a group working together, not just depending on the staff or leadership to do the work. People are invited into each other's homes and are a part of each other's lives. People can come as they are, recognizing that we are all people with issues in need of God's grace and work in our lives. It is a place where I feel that I can invite anybody, which is how a church should be. In all of that, we are challenged by biblical teaching that does not sway from the tough stuff.
I remember the first Sunday that I had to miss because of our son being sick. I had the feeling of disappointment that I wouldn't get to be there. We'd been a part of the church for a few months and that was a good realization to realize that my heart had started joining this group. Then, just a few days ago someone joked with my husband about another church asking him to work with them and my immediate reaction was that there was no way would I want to leave. Its good to feel that way again.
I am thankful that we get to be a part of ABC.