what’s in a church?

It may be simplistic to ponder the question, but the realization of what a church is sometimes can sometimes be revealed in small events.  As I travel, the places of worship that I visit vary greatly in size, shape, and style, from small, old, traditional chapels to large new auditoria with multiple big screen projectors, incredible sound systems, and large worship bands loudly praising God in all the atmosphere of a rock concert at Madison Square Garden.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve felt the presence of the Lord in those venues, and although I’m older than most of the youth and young adults that this is geared toward, I can still appreciate Petra’s version of “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” as much as the next person.

But sometimes the Church experience is in the multi-purpose room on metal folding chairs in a small quiet neighborhood in towns like Quincy, MA or Gaithersburg, MD.  I mention these two specifically as these are two churches where I have been brought into the presence of the Lord in the most down-to-earth places.  Tonight I was at the First Assembly in Gaithersburg, sharing God’s Word with a group of about ten people led by Pastor Byron, armed with his Bible and his guitar.

I didn’t know any of the songs they sang during the first few minutes of their Bible Study, but the great thing about a small group is that you can sing a few words of repeated choruses, and it doesn’t matter that you don’t sing the whole song.  As we started into a study of the ninth chapter of Zechariah, I felt very much at home with a group of brothers and sisters that I guess ranged in age from about seventeen to seventy-five.  It didn’t matter that I was a stranger to them, they simply welcomed me into their midst and included me in their lives, praying, singing, reading, learning.  Learning about the subject that is the most important any of us can undertake.  Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  That doesn’t take a projector or a rock band or a theater chair, that just takes two or more gathered in His name, and a willingness to open your doors to all seekers…

I’ll get to Quincy a little further down the Road…

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