One of my favorite things about being your director of missions is the opportunity to visit our 42 churches. Each of our churches is unique and special. God placed each church just where He wants it and He has placed certain people in each church to accomplish His purposes in that congregation (see 1 Cor. 12:18).
So we have larger churches, smaller churches, and medium sized churches.
The congregation may speak English or they may speak Spanish.
Some use the King James Version, some use another version, and some use multiple versions.
We have some churches that use the Baptist Hymnal (either the 2008, 1991, 1975, or 1956 edition), other churches that use the Celebration Hymnal, and still others that prefer the Heavenly Highway songbook.
Some churches project the words of songs onto a wall or a screen rather than using hymnals. Some print the words of songs in their bulletins. Some just expect the people to sing along the best they can.
Some churches have only a piano. Some also have an organ. Some use guitars and drums. Some use CDs and DVDs for musical accompaniment.
Some have a choir or a praise team. Some have one person leading the music alone. Sometimes it’s the pastor himself.
Some pastors wear a suit and tie. Others dress casually. One wears a cowboy hat to church and has a saddle for a pulpit.
The building used by one of our churches may be brick, metal or wooden frame. It may be downtown, or on a major highway, or tucked away in a neighborhood. Or the church may meet in rented facilities, such as a livestock auction barn.
If the church owns a building, it may be relatively new, or it may have been designated a historic landmark.
Some churches are able to pay their pastors enough so that the church is their only workplace. Others have bivocational pastors.
Some are between pastors, having an “interim” pastor. One church depends on different men to “supply” preach each week.
Some churches are single staff; some are multi-staff. Some have deacons; some have elders. Some approve a budget each year; others simply track their income and expenses.
But there’s something that all of our 42 churches have in common. They all proclaim the Good News that Jesus, God the Son, who has existed forever, took on flesh and came to earth to die on the cross for the sins of any who will repent and trust Him as Savior and Lord. And that same Jesus, after He arose from the dead, ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father. And that same Jesus is coming back someday to judge the world and to bring redemption.
That is what unites us and enables us to work together to reach our whole area for Jesus. Praise God that our churches are different, but are also the same.
Together on purpose,