And It’s the People That Make the Real Difference
“Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the doors. And see all the people.”
This nursery rhyme with its clever hand motions has kept little fingers busy for decades. It was created as a fun and simple way to teach children about community within the church.
This rhyme about the church brings back fond memories, but its message points out a common misconception that should be addressed.
The church is not a building, but rather the people.
The Church is the blood-bought, Christ following, believers…THE PEOPLE.
The Bible has a lot to say about the Church. In Acts 2:42-47, it says that the Lord’s followers met together and broke bread and shared and praised God. This sounds like a church to me. Likewise in Matthew 18:20, “Wherever two or three of you come together in My name, I am there with you.”
I’m so blessed to have spent my whole life involved in and connected to a church made up of Christ following believers.
Once again, this past Sunday it was made evident with a “faith sharing Sunday”.
Pastor Lee shared four different sharing stories from people who have experienced Christ’s love through the people of the church.
The first was from a 9-year-old girl who was sitting with her dying grandfather when Pastor Lee stopped by to see him. As the Pastor and her were visiting, he asked her what she remembered about the sermon the day before. She shared several things from the message and he was amazed. He asked her to write what the church meant to her.
She wrote, I always come to listen to God to know what to do. I come to church to get direction. It gives me strength to never give up because God is there.
Wouldn’t it be great if we as adults would be this observant?
Next was from a lady that grew up in this church. She had a strong family tie to the church and community. She had many fond memories of experiences at the church through the years.
As an adult she moved to Colorado and began looking for a new church. With Tisdale being her standard, she found it hard to find a church who met that standard.
Now that she has moved back, she said, “It feels the same today as it did as a kid growing up.” Tisdale’s spirit was not just there and then, but is here and now.
Third was from a newer member of our congregation. She grew up in a church where, as a kid she never felt welcome. Because she didn’t want her kids to feel this way, she stopped going to church for a long time.
Then she came to Tisdale, and it was different. She felt welcomed. She saw her kids beginning to blossom and be more open around people. They began to grow into the people God meant them to be. The church is a big part of this. Pastor Lee and Kay accept everyone with open arms. The congregation accepts everyone with open arms. This is the way the Church is supposed to be.
The last one is a letter from someone who has never even been to the church. It is from a student at the school where Kay, Pastor Lee’s wife, works. This young man isn’t even her student. He has just seen her in the hall and the cafeteria.
He wrote her a letter telling her that he sees how she treats people and he wants to be like that. He wants to help people the way she does. They have now become good friends.
This is the way the Church is supposed to be.
The church isn’t the building…it’s the people.
It’s the people being the hands and feet of Christ in the world. And the right church can make all the difference in the world.