I wasn’t looking for a church home when I ended up in a 10 am Sunday service that was a 45 minute drive from where I lived. I was actually stopping by this newly established church as a polite gesture.
The pastor was looking for someone to write an ad for the community newspaper and a mutual friend of ours had told him about me. The job was simple and after I sent him the write up, he invited me to come to their pre-launch service. Since the church wasn’t official, service was only once a month.
So I passed my regular church 5 minutes up the road in Stone Mountain, for a nice drive to Marietta. I figured it was going to be a one time thing, so I was willing to make the sacrifice.
I was hesitant when I pulled into the church parking lot. I wasn’t into start up ministries and this church service was being held on the grounds of a high school and immediately I became leery. Was I about to encounter a bunch of Jim Jones church fanatics? I was scared, but I was already there and I didn’t want that long drive to be in vain, plus the pastor said he had a little something for me for my help with his church ad. So let’s just say, I was eager to find out what it was.
Let’s be clear about one thing. I’m not new to church at all. I’m a true Southern Baptist girl and from 5 to 18 my Sunday mornings have consistently been the same. God and the church were as much apart of my life as milk and cereal and I love cereal. But along the way I’ve wearied traditionalism and have struggled with the same old services that deal more with appearances than character, that do more preaching than teaching the true principles outlined in the Bible. For a long time I found more comfort getting to know God in my living and in front of my television rather than mingle with a bunch of people that make me feel like chewing gum is a “sin” (the Christian term for wrongdoing.)
Compassion Church, however, is not that church. During my very first experience with Compassion I could feel a sense of relief. The people there were warm. The music was original. The atmosphere was quiet but inviting and the message was uplifting. The pastor who likes to refer to himself as God’s “Lead Servant” is a young man who’s highly passionate about his faith, his family and his mission. He loves to serve and he loves to give. He and wife are truly genuine people who really care about the needs of others.
After just one church service I found myself going on outings with this new “family” of mine. My son Jason, quickly connected with the other children and for any parent, you can understand how important it is for your child to be in a caring and loving environment.
Compassion is a ministry that’s moved to make a caring difference in its community and in the lives of those it touches. Since becoming a part of their family I’ve been motivated to volunteer. I’ll be building my first home with Habitat for Humanity next month and I’ll be doing it with Compassion. I don’t think I’ve ever been moved to freely volunteer my time at any of my other churches, but with this one I was.
Some other great perks is that when I get there I can depend on them for a donut and coffee or some other small refreshment before and after church. But that’s not what got me.
Recently, I went to take my son the children’s church which they have for the younger kids while their parents are in the main auditorium. When I went to sign my son in, one of the volunteers said his name, “Hey Jason, it’s nice to see you.” She remembered him and although I’ve been to many churches many times, I’ve never heard anyone say his name.
I started attending in September and have managed to make each service. When the church announced its official launch service in January (the church now has services each Sunday) I was there and I passed plenty of churches on the way, even mine.
I haven’t officially joined the church, but I’m almost there. I’m going to recommend that you visit http://www.thisiscompassion.org something very special about this ministry, about Jason, his wife, their family and the Compassion family and I think that’s something that deserves a minute of your time. As for me…45 minute drive here I come.