Many people feel awkward about inviting others to their church. And a lot of times when they get the nerve, they fail to make the invitation mean anything: as if their church is no better or worse than any other. We should all remember that the church is not the building.
I met a friend the other day
and he posed a simple question.
“Have you ever been to my church,
the one up on the hill?”
I cannot say I have,
would it be your suggestion?
But before I make the choice,
what about it can you tell?
“What’s to tell?” said my friend.
“It’s a church like any other.
No better or no worse,
just a new place to try.”
If there isn’t something special,
why should I even bother?
Why should I cross the threshold
just to turn and say, “Good-bye?”
“Well,” said he. “What would you say
about the church you now attend?”
And his frown became a smirk,
not like Scrooge, more like the Grinch.
I found his actions awkward,
since friends should not contend.
But my church is also family,
so I answered in a pinch.
There is Herman and Paul,
Deacons on the ball,
and they each perform their task like godly men.
And we have greeters like Brother Bob,
who jokes about his sit-down job,
while he welcomes each arrival like a friend.
And there is Judy and Deloris,
with a long history here before us,
so they will always be a treasured pair.
We have Glenn, Veldora, and Robbie,
and Doris with her hobby:
she has hugs enough for all and some to spare.
And there is Margaret and Regina, her daughter,
who crave the Living Water:
the Word of God that makes our life complete.
Margaret use to play for worship,
now Nancy makes the piano her ship,
and sails each joyful note into a treat.
We have the Coach and Julie,
with her greeting card ministry:
she reminds absent members that we care.
And there’s Mark and his mother Tura, our Grande’ Dame’:
our Royal Missions Queen,
who teaches with compassion how to share.
And there is Jeanne, so organized
that the devil runs and hides,
cuz’ he cannot find a loophole anywhere.
And our church body would have a large hole
if Allen and Juanita were ever to go:
for they are a godly couple beyond compare.
The wisdom of this man,
so respected by other men,
is a leader like Peter, a solid rock for us all.
And his loving wife Juanita,
you’ll never meet anyone sweeta’,
and she’s the rock behind the man with a heavenly call.
And then there’s Don and Ellen,
the pride of Courtney Corner,
who tackle more tasks than anyone.
Like our Lord, they live their lives
like a living sacrifice,
and they never quit until the job is done.
To know them is a blessing,
and if you’re wounded they’re the dressing
that God might send to help your healing.
He’s the friend closer than a brother,
and she is Proverbs thirty-one:
and they’ve earned our respect and loving feelings.
There are many others — like James, Tricia, Rodney, and more —
that I can add to the list, my friend;
but I think I’ve made my point quite clear.
Though I would be remiss
to keep one couple off the list,
a couple the church holds very dear.
Pastor Steve and his first lady, Pat,
quick to pray or a friendly chat:
he likes to joke and she likes to sing.
We hear about sports and cycling,
ATV trips and what grand babies do;
but their love for God is still the most important thing.
And so I told my friend
that no church is like another,
cuz’ it’s not the walls or the steeple.
It’s the spiritual sisters and brothers —
it truly is the people.
© JW Thomas