Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I'm Excited

I'm not usually excitable. The key word here is "usually." I can certainly get worked up about some things. Sometimes that's good, and sometimes it's not! But I doubt if most people think of me as an "excitable" person. For a change, I'm excited!

Let me explain. I think we've experienced a kind of "weeding" process in our church. It's taken us three or four years for this to happen. Unlike what sometimes happens, this has not been one of those negative things. It's been positive for the most part. That doesn't mean everything has gone like I wished, but it does mean some really good things have happened.

Let me explain further. In the past year or so, we have had several people, both men and women, who have stepped up and accepted responsibilities that are big, significant, and future-changing in nature. It's the kind of thing every small church hopes for, and it is the kind of thing that will lead to growth. Much of that growth will be spiritual, but some of it will also be numerical. It's just a matter of time.

We have young couples who have dedicated themselves to the very hard task of working with our young people. I can't tell you how vital this is. To have people willing to sacrifice their time and energy focusing on youth is just terrific. Whether it's getting the kids into Bible study, or taking them to events and activities that will broaden their experiences and shape their lives, or just being there for them when trouble hits (and it will), it's going to help these young people in ways they can't imagine right now. The full results are years away, but it will be huge when it happens.

We have several men who stepped into roles as "Life Group" leaders. They went through training, still weren't sure of what they were doing, took the job anyway, and now in another week they will begin their second year leading our small group ministry. They have taken on enormous responsibility. I can't tell you how proud I am of these men. They are still learning, but they are showing concern, leadership, and personal responsibility. Not every one of the guys who went through our Life Group leader training ended up a group leader. Some just didn't want it. Was that a bad thing? No! We ended up with the right guys. These men are going to make a great difference in the lives of those who attend their small groups. They don't know it yet, but they are filling what is currently the most important roles in our congregation. They are doing an outstanding job, too. Do I sound like I'm proud of them? You bet I am!

I'm proud of our ladies, too. The women in our church are so good, so responsible, so self-motivated it's amazing. There are many things that happen like meals to the sick, meals for families who have lost a loved one, showers of all kinds, and many other things that happen almost automatically. The are so organized when it comes to these things that you just never have to worry about it. But some of them are into other things as well. They are part of the jail ministry, they put together special events and teaching opportunities like "Ladies Days," and they have specialized ministries to children. They started a wonderful ministry to the hurting called "Friends Listening Ministry." Got a problem, they'll help you wrestle with it. They "man" ("woman") the nursery, Children's Church, fix communion, feed hungry folks at pot-luck dinners, and so much more! And you watch what I'm saying, they will provide the life-blood of our Life Group ministry. Does it sound like I'm proud of them? You bet I am!

Have you heard our singers? You should. They are outstanding. I've been in Grenada at Southside for six years now. For all that time, when I meet someone from our community and tell them which church I'm with, I often hear, "Oh, that's the church with the "a cappella" singing group! They're great!" Let me tell you, I'd rather Southside be known for it's singing group than it's preacher! Because we've got such a good singing group, they help the whole church, especially when it comes to new songs or ones we don't know quite as well as others. Singing is a big deal at Southside, and if you don't believe it, come and listen.

So, I'm excited. Good things, big things, great things, positive things are in our future. It's because of our people! What a blessing to be a part of what's going on. If you live in the Grenada area, come join us. You'll be in for a treat. If you live far away you have two options. First, visit us if you travel through. Second, pack up and move here. Seriously.