This is a blog post from Tricia Lovejoy. I can so relate to this post as Mark and I feel the same way about San Angelo Church! Thanks Shawn and Tricia Lovejoy for the encouragement and perseverance of church planting!
I love my church. I really do. Not because it's my church...the one my husband and I planted....the one we've devoted our lives to. I love my church because the people here get it. They understand the chain reaction they have when they serve and give. They partner together to create a place where people feel welcomed, loved, and accepted.
Do you know what happens when someone disconnected from God or church comes to Mountain Lake and they encounter a smiling face directing them to a parking spot, when someone strikes up a conversation with them as they walk in the doors, when they are served a free cup of hot coffee, and when they discover outstanding environments for their children to enjoy? They feel comfortable! They feel like they belong. They drop their defenses. Then, they can sit and listen to our Pastor share a relevant, practical message about God. You see, if people have a bad experience in the parking lot or lobby, they won't care what the Pastor says. They'll already have him tuned out. So, life change starts with our people, not our Pastor.
The people at MLC get it, too. They serve in volunteer areas making our church a great place to belong. They give of their time and resources because they love God and they love our church. Yesterday, my hubby taught on this "chain reaction" and reminded all of us that when we serve and give, we reap eternal benefits for the people around us. Check it out:
-We come to church to learn.
-We feel welcomed and loved, so we continue coming.
-As we learn of God's love, our lives are changed.
-We want others to experience the same thing, so we begin helping other people feel loved and welcomed.
In other words, we begin with a "serve me" mentality, but we move to a "serve others" one. That's the goal! That pleases God! So, if you are a Mountain Laker, join me in serving and giving. Join the Cafe Team, rock a baby, or jump into Creative Arts. Not only will you feel more connected, but you'll help others find their way to God. Now, THAT'S radiating