Last Sunday, I talked to a first-time visitor to our church. In the conversation, I said, “I am incredibly biased… so take what I am about to tell you with a grain of salt, but I love Central Church. Absolutely love it.” I wasn’t lying.
You’d want your pastor to love his/her church. Not all do. I know pastors who hate going on Sunday mornings. They look forward to Sunday morning about as much as getting a root canal. Maybe that’s why so many pastors are walking away from their calling (You can read a recent report about pastors exiting their churches here). This week I blogged about the exit of people leaving the church. (You can read that article here). Having written all of that, I love Central Church. Absolutely love it.
I hesitate to state all the reasons, because I don’t want to sound braggadocios. Central Church can be better. We have issues. We aren’t perfect. I tell folks, “I know Central Church isn’t perfect because y’all let me pastor here and (excuse my poor English) I ain’t perfect.” We aren’t the greatest gathering since Acts 2. There are other great churches too. I get all of that, still I love Central Church. Absolutely love it.
People are leaving churches (as I wrote in the blog), but our church has new folks showing up every week. I’m so glad they are coming. Some “newbies” first started watching on-line; a few church shoppers have finally found a home; others heard “Central Church’s “In Flint” mission emphasis and agreed churches should be concerned for what’s happening outside its walls; and a few folks just kind of wandered in, found Jesus and said, “Wow-what-a-church!” These new folks are quickly getting their own “Yippee-Yahoo,” biased opinion about Central Church too. I love it! Absolutely love it.
I am biased. Hear me. Super biased.
Our music is great (I’d put our choir and our praise team up against any other church). Our pastors are great (while I was “sabaticalling,” Central Church never missed a beat. We have such a godly team of pastors). The facilities crew, office staff, you name it are all fun, faithful people. Our children, students, young adults, middle-agers, senior citizens are so engaged. Our Church Board is a blessing (Did I tell you our last board meeting was more “camp meeting” than board meeting?). I love it! Absolutely love it.
Central Church believes the Bible is true. We believe Jesus calls us to love God and love others. That love is then expressed in our neighborhood (hello Central Park); in our city (Thanks Mr. Mayor for giving Central Church the “Key to the City”); and to the entire world (We’re coming back Panama! See you soon!!). I love that Central church is fulfilling the Great Commission. I love it! Absolutely love it.
It’s all true. Some pastors and people are leaving their churches. Not me. I love Central Church; our old-timers love it too and the new folks are discovering why. Central church is a great (not perfect) church that loves God and loves people in Flint and around the world! That’s why I’m staying! I love it! Absolutely love it.