Being on the Ground Floor


Today at my church, there were few–if any– empty chairs. That might not sound like much until you consider that this church has only officially been in existence since July of last year (with the official launch in September).

I’ve always said that I wanted to be on the ground floor of a church plant and here I am.

My role may not be a big one, but I am playing a small part. I am a greeter on most Sunday mornings and once every month or so I run the graphics, which includes song lyrics and other slides related to the Sunday morning service.

I enjoy it. I really love the fact that we as the local body of Christ are making an impact on the neighborhood in which God has placed us. People driving by can’t help but notice the sign that reads “The Church at Avenue South– a regional campus of Brentwood Baptist Church.” Jesus has moved into the neighborhood and we are His visible body here on earth.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the year ahead. I pray that we won’t be content to maintain status quo but instead seek ways to think outside that proverbial box and truly become all things to all people, just as Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 9:22.

In fact, my prayer is for all the churches in Nashville to do the same. I really do hope that we can get away from the competitive spirit and learn to work together as the Church. After all, Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and His Father are one.

More than that, I pray the churches in Nashville will stick to the Gospel that Paul preached, no matter what. That’s what saves people and that’s what people are dying to hear, both figuratively and literally.


Coming to Stay

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish” (John 1:14).

Have you ever noticed how sometimes friends come and go?

I mean, have you ever had a friend completely disappear from your life? It’s like one day you see them all the time and the next you don’t see them anymore. It feels like they moved on and forgot about you.

Not all friends are meant to be in your life forever. Some are meant for only a season or two. Yet it still hurts when they’re no longer around.

I love how The Message puts it. Jesus moved into the neighborhood. He didn’t come to visit for a while. He came to stay. He came to take up residence and be among us.

Jesus may have physically left, but He’s still around. He promised He would be when He sent His Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself promised that He would never leave us or forsake us.

That’s what I cling to some days. I cling to Jesus as the only constant in a world racked by constant change and turmoil and instability. My pastor said that when the Bible talks about the glory of God, it conveys almost a kind of weight. It’s like saying that only God deserves glory because He’s the only one weighty enough to hold our lives in orbit and to keep us from spinning out of control.

That’s what Jesus does. He keeps us together on those days when it’s all we can do to put one foot in front of the other and to remember to breathe in and breathe out.

That’s what Immanuel means. God is still with us.