You have a lot of churches to choose from.
Let’s be honest — some of them have much better preachers than me. Some of them have better music programs; if you like rock music, there are churches that have services designed specifically for you. Some churches have much bigger choirs, orchestras, bands, and multiple children’s choirs.
There may not be many church buildings more beautiful than ours, but there are buildings that are bigger, with more comfortable seating, with big screens and fancy visuals, with bigger stained glass compositions.
Don’t get me started with the children’s and youth programs: some churches have built entire buildings to house those booming ministries. Some churches have rock climbing walls, castle playhouses, and gymnasiums for their kids; some even have entire departments staffed by multiple pastors.
Some churches have a lot more money than ours; they have famous people, athletes, big-name CEOs, and celebrities making regular donations. Some churches are so financially successful that their pastors have their own private jets.
There are churches that are high-church, with lots of liturgy, fancy robes, and incense; there are churches that are low-church, with simple prayers, hand-clapping, and shouted amens. Some churches are full of white people, while others are mostly brown or black, and some are even a diverse mix of colors.
And, yes, I suppose that some churches have more active laypeople, more volunteers, more competent members who have more time to give to the church.
You could attend any one of these many churches in the Dallas area. Or you could drive over to Fort Worth — it’s not that bad of a drive on Sunday morning.
You have a choice when it comes to which church you attend. I’m very aware of that fact. I’m always aware that other churches do some things much better than us, and I’m hyper-aware of the things that we don’t do very well at all, including myself.
But I’m beginning to understand that there is something very profound happening at Kessler Park UMC that is unique to this location, to this group of people, to this particular time in history.
We are becoming a community; we are slowly and gradually becoming a group of people who have been called together by the living God. Every single one of us belongs. There are others who haven’t arrived yet, but they’re on their way. In the meantime, we are growing together, and our commitment toward each other is becoming stronger and stronger.
Something has taken root within us, something which I would simply call “love.” I feel it among all of you — you really do love each other. You may not know every face in the sanctuary on a given Sunday morning, but you do your best to welcome, support, encourage, and strengthen each other.
Another word for this is koinonia, the word we use in our weekly liturgy before our “Sharing of Shalom.” Koinonia refers to the kind of fellowship and community which is the consequence of the unity of the Holy Spirit. We are beginning to live koinonia out, and the result is going to be something very special.
Keep loving each other, and keep widening the circle. God is working amongst us!