Sunday, September 30, 2007

Share the wealth

I know about small churches. The church in the town where I grew up was a one room rural church where everyone knew everyone. The church where I first accepted Christ was a middle school gym converted for church services in Palo Cedro California fittingly named "Little Country Church" I think the congregation was about 50 or so. Fast forward about twenty five years and I was back in a school gymnasium, only this time in Granite Bay California where a small but growing church was really reaching out to its community. Bayside church is now in the 5 digit numbers as far as the congregation goes with church plants sprouting all over the Sacramento area.

When we moved from Sacramento to Esparto I missed the thriving church life I had experienced in such a dynamic, spirit filled place like Bayside and Pastor Ray Johnston. I looked at a few churches in our area, Woodland, Davis and the small Presbyterian church here in Esparto. I will admit I was spoiled and although I met some great people and heard the message of the Lord's good news preached in many ways, I didn't feel at truly at home until I walked through the doors at Bayside Woodland last year.

I sometimes feel like a church snob, we don't attend our home town church, we go into 'town' on Sundays. It's not that I don't like the people or the Pastor, when I have a scheduling conflict, I will attend my hometown church, Countryside Community Church and listen to Pastor Pamela give a wonderful sermon.

This past April I was at the Thrive conference at Bayside in Granite Bay and I ran into Pastor Pam after one of the general sessions where Lincoln Brewster played and we started talking about contemporary worship music in church. She explained that her church would love to have a worship group play, even if it was for just one Sunday service. I am not a musician by any stretch of the imagination, but I know that our church has about nine people who play guitar and rotate through our worship team and said I would ask around and see if I could work something out.

I started asking around after the summer vacation season quieted down, I found three people who agreed to come out one Sunday and play an acoustic/electric guitar set for Pastor Pam's church. When you have a thriving church you have many talented people who are willing to step up to help out, and they stepped up in a big way. These folks, like most most worship musicians are part of the youth ministry also and they asked my son if he wanted to play in the group. He agreed and for the past two weeks he put down the rock and roll songbooks to practice his worship music.

Everyone showed up at my house this morning at 7:30 for one last run through and breakfast, which was late. (sorry)

We set up, did sound check and the ran through the program with Pastor Pam. The sound of guitars and voices filling the sanctuary was sweet indeed. Three great songs plus a great message from Pam about the second chances offered by Jesus equaled a wonderful service this morning.

The Lord was lifted up in song and praise. A small church looking for a spiritual lift found it. Four people took a half a day out of their lives to give back to the Lord through music. We are already talking about next month. Thank you to the team, Becky, Josh, Tim and Steven. You walk the walk and I am forever grateful.

Do you go to a small or medium size church? Do you attend a large church? Do you attend a mega-church? Is your church a place for community outreach or is it a club reserved for members only?

Reach out, not only to the unchurched but also keep an eye out for a small church who could use a little lift. Give back. Even its one person and a guitar or piano or a microphone for you to sing the praises of God.

Share the wealth.

No comments: