This week, Billy and Beth each wrote blog posts highlighting two aspects of our church vision. Beth wrote about our overarching mission to simply help people discover life in Christ. Billy wrote about our recent building campaign vision to build a spiritual home for the spiritually homeless.
I encourage you to head over to their blogs to read them, but then come back here because I want to highlight what I think needs to be obvious about our identity as a church.
Are you back, yet? Okay. I’m about to share something with you that I have said many times before, but can never be said enough.
The ultimate mission/vision/focus of our church is not ourselves.
The church does not exist for us; we are the church and we exist for others!
What’s the one accusation people throw at churches that is totally justified?
Churches are full of hypocrites.
Yes, Christians TALK about faith in a God who loves and about following a Savior who sacrifices, but we ACT like people who are absorbed with our own interests. Sometimes (far too often, in fact) I and the people of LCC fall into that same self-absorbed mindset. It’s just too easy. Perhaps you know the same temptation I do.
But that’s not good enough for us, is it? LCC was started on the premise that people are hungry for a new kind of church. Not a church that is different on the surface but the same inside, but a church that kills hypocrisy at the core, a church that pushes the envelope of authenticity, a church that isn’t afraid to let people try and fail and try again, and a church that understands the one thing that sits behind our mission and vision, the one absolutely essential, non-negotiable part of who we are as a church: people actually living for the sake of others.
People Living for Others
I want to share with you some stories of people who are living for others.
Lafayette Transitional Housing. Did you know that people from our church regularly sacrifice Sunday afternoons to coordinate and serve the meal at Lafayette Transitional Housing? Actually, you probably do know that because Billy just wrote about it, but did you know that for the past few years Brian Schoolcraft has personally spent countless hours coordinating everything? He and his wife Amanda committed to making it happen, and then he led their Core Group to invest many additional hours to trailblaze the ministry before presenting it to the rest of the church as a ministry opportunity! I’m so going to miss Brian and Amanda when they move to Texas because in so many ways, they have demonstrated the sacrificial, others-first life that marks us as a different kind of church.
The Capital Campaign. Do you have any idea how much it cost us to purchase and remodel our building? If you have been around LCC since before 2016, you probably do know, but it was $400K to purchase and roughly $300K to remodel, but the most amazing thing is this: over $70K of our remodeling budget was paid in cash by the generous financial donations of people in the church… and you know what? We are not a church of doctors, lawyers, corporate executives, or old money. All that money was given by normal people who were committed to making personal sacrifices to help other people find a spiritual home!
One More Person…
I could go on and on about the sacrificial spirit of people in our church. It consistently inspires me, but there is one more person I want to highlight, one more person I want to tell you about who makes a difference in our church fellowship every single week.
I’m talking about you.
When you come on Sunday morning, you are saying for that brief moment of time that life is about more than just you. For one thing, you are giving your time to God and offering him your worship, but there is another way you are making a difference. Every single person in our auditorium raises the emotional and spiritual temperature of the room. Can you imagine what it would have been like if the first time you visited LCC, there were only 10 people in the room? You probably would have felt weird the whole time. But imagine what it’s like for the first time guest when they come into our auditorium and see the place filled with enthusiastic people eager to worship and to hear God’s Word taught to them! Your presence, your enthusiasm, your willingness to sacrifice some time on Sunday to gather with your church family is a blessing like you will never know to everyone else who comes.
Thank you for being part of that blessing.
We are different because we have come to realize that we don’t exist for ourselves.