With the changes that are taking place in our church, it seems like a good time to reflect on the past few years and my thoughts about church and community.
We came to LifePoint Church in 2007, the first time they met at the local movie theater. It just happened to work out that way; we hadn't attended church in months, and prior to that, we had never found a church that felt like a good fit for us. We hoped that we would one day find the right church for us, and at some point I finally decided to turn to the almighty Google. I began searching for a non-denominational church in our area, and I found LifePoint. We read over the website and thought it sounded like something we might be interested in, so we decided to check it out. And what we found there drew us in. God, community, a message of love for God and people-- and not just in words, but in action.
Yesterday, LifePoint met at the movie theater for the last time. Actually, "LifePoint" met for the last time. We're seeking a location that's a better fit for us, and we've also changed our name to one that is a better fit-- The Exchange.
But although we've changed our name and location, the community remains. I've written many times about the church being more than just a building and more than just a Sunday morning gathering-- and that's true!-- but I think it can be easy to forget that when you've become used to the Sunday morning church routine. Suddenly, when the comfort of the familiar Sunday morning service in the familiar location is gone, you are stripped down to the core of community-- God, people, and love. And that can be a really good thing.
I've said it many times, and I'll say it again now. Community is beautiful, and community is messy. There are heartaches and struggles and tears; there is laughter and support and love. There are times of worshiping together and times of mourning together. These are the people we share our lives with, our successes and struggles, our dreams and our disappointments. In the past three years I have seen so many living and breathing examples of the love of Christ. Helping people when they're struggling financially, clothing the needy, feeding the hungry, housing the poor, providing a listening ear, sharing the love of God, growing together on this journey of faith.
So to the people in this amazing community-- I love you, and I cannot wait to see where our journey takes us next.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. -Matthew 22:37-39