2/25/2014 1:05:35 AM
Some Reflections on our First Sunday
Last Sunday, February 23, 2014, was the opening Sunday for Crossway Bible Church. I had the privilege of being part of this as one of the elders of the church. Throughout the service I saw many things going on, but a couple of them stood out to me as especially prominent and encouraging.
One of these was the outworking of the biblical idea of the body of Christ. Each one of our core group members had specific responsibilities to take care of, and everyone did those well. We are united as one body, working together for one purpose, and at the same time we are each different parts of the body, being used differently by God to accomplish the same purpose (1 Corinthians 12:18-20).
The other thing that stood out was the absence of any kind of spectacle on display. We have been planning for this day to some extent for nearly two years; it has been over 20 months since "the church plant" was first proposed to the congregation at Grace Community Church in Maryville. We have been meeting as a core group on Sunday nights for eight months. We have been attempting to spread the word about the church for some time, and all the core group members were very excited to open to the public.
What might be expected, or at least hoped for, after all of that planning is something really spectacular. After all, who goes to all that effort and doesn't really want to make a splash on their church launch day?
Nonetheless, what happened on launch Sunday was thoroughly - and refreshingly - unspectacular. There were no amazing shows. It was not the greatest day in the history of time. It was not the kind of thing that will make newspaper headlines or widespread rounds even among Christian people.
And yet this is exactly what the Bible prescribes for churches to be. They do not preach the gospel "in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ will not be made void (1 Corinthians 1:17). Rather, they do what is prescribed biblically for any church: preach the word, pray, fellowship, tell people the gospel, serve, and love.
Of course, the lack of what people perceive as spectacular doesn't mean that something amazing didn't happen: It's simply that what was amazing wasn't any kind of external showiness, but the work of God in the hearts of people to strengthen them to serve to his glory.
These two observations are a reflection of what we want to be at Crossway: faithful servants in our various ministry responsibilities, who faithfully do simply what their Lord has commanded of them and what he says is glorifying to him. My prayer is that God would grant this to be the case for us!