Thursday, March 10, 2005

5 Things I Love About Grace Church, SLO

I had an opportunity to visit another vibrant and growing church in SLO county a few weeks back. I was encouraged and challenged in my time spent with the pastor, a friend and fellow-laborer for the Gospel. But as I departed there and walked back to my car, I said to myself, "I am so glad that I get to serve Grace Church, SLO. God has me in just the right place."

Here are 5 things I love about Grace Church, SLO:

1. Our People: I love the people of Grace. We have so many faithful and gifted brothers and sisters that serve together. We have worked hard to open up our leadership over the last few years, by expanding our leadership and ministry teams and creating room at the table. People keep stepping forward to fill important spots. Not only do people serve faithfully and sacrificially, but Grace is a very caring and loving church! Our family has been loved and others who are entering into the church are feeling loved too. I love our faithful ministry and administrative staff teams. Grace Church is the people. This is our greatest strentgh.

2. Our Diversity & Unity I love the spectrum of people at Grace Church. Multiple generations and folks across the socio-economic spectrum worshipping together, learning to love and care for one another. I love that more and more college students are finding us. I love it that we have homeless folks who are worshipping with us regularly. I love the diversity of our worship and the way we bear with one another's musical tastes and preferences. I love our seniors and the wisdom and experience they add to our fellowship. I love our many young families and all the children that are learning to worship together. I love the unity of our faith in the power of the Gospel. I love what is happening in Growth Groups. We are committed to the study and application of God's Word. We are committed to serving and building up one another through the gifts that God has provided. We are committed to caring for one another. We value our diversity, yet celebrate our unity.

3. Our History: I love the fact that we are part of a body of believers that has been worshipping in this community for almost 75 years. I love it that we are surrounded by a "communion of saints" who have run their race before us. I am in awe of who and what Grace has been in the past, I am delighted about who and what Grace is in the present, but I'm most excited about who and what Grace will be in the future. We are here for a little while and then gone. Our role is to be faithful in our day and among our generation. What will Grace Church, SLO look like at its 100 Year Anniversary, in the year 2031, if the Lord should tarry? I don't have any idea, but I am eager to find out!

4. Our Location & Facilities: I love it that Grace is a "downtown" church. This is unique and rare and it brings with it certain responsibilities and a whole lot of opportunities. I love that we are in the middle of the action, in the center of the county seat. A church doesn't need a space to do effective ministry, but it sure is nice. God has entrusted us with abundant debt-free facilities in an incredible location (except a parking lot of our own, but that's ok!). To whom much is given, much is required. These facilities are not for us alone, they are given to us so that we might serve our broader community. And we will give an account for our stewardship of them. I love it that the Little Theater, the Chamber of Commerce, the Mozart Festival and many other churches and organizations are using our facilities on a regular basis. What a privilege it is to serve!

5. Our Vision & Mission: Our vision (the "what") is to see lives, families, our community and the world transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our mission (the "how") is to celebrate, proclaim and live the Gospel on the Central Coast and beyond. I love how the Gospel, the life-saving and life-changing message of Jesus, is at the center of all we do. I love it that we are teaching the Gospel of God's grace to our children and youth. I love it that we are actively looking for ways to apply the Gospel in our community. I love it that we are actively supporting and sending folks all over the world with this same vision and mission.

I love Grace Church, SLO! I probably don't say it as often as I should, but hopefully it shows. We sure haven't arrived and we don't have it all figured out, but we are on a journey together. We have a long way to go, but we are moving forward by God's grace and growing together.

I am right where God wants me to be. I hope you feel the same. . . .

What do you love about your church?


Brianna Heldt said...

I don't really know too much about this blogging thing, but I have really enjoyed reading Pastor Tim's blogs and thought I'd attempt to post something. There are so many things I've come to love about Grace Church over the last six years that I have been attending (I first started coming in the fall of '99, my freshman year at Cal Poly, which is when I moved to SLO.) I love the people and the many valuable friendships God has blessed me with here over the years. I met my husband at this church, our little girl Anna was dedicated here, and I have felt so much support and love from many different people in many different ways. I love that the Gospel is taught here, and that there is great emphasis placed on the value of children, the importance of family, etc. I definitely see the Lord at work at Grace Church, and I feel blessed to get to be a part of it!

Debbie J. said...

Well said!! You've captured all that I feel about Grace. I am SO blessed and grateful that we have a little bit of heaven on earth! Thanks for the reminders of all that I love about Grace.