Thursday, August 10, 2006
Katrina Teaches Church Important Lesson
Hurricane Katrina was the costliest (about $81 billion) and one of the deadliest (1,836 deaths) hurricanes in the history of the United States. Katrina devastated the Gulf coast for over 100 miles from its center.
On the morning of August 29 2005 Katrina slammed into the Mississippi and Louisiana border and the First Baptist Church in Gulfport, Mississippi lost their church facilities.
Founded in 1896, the church had to demolish its current sanctuary, built in 1967. They plan to rebuild on a different site a few miles North of their current site. For now the church gathers and worships in the Gulfport High School auditorium.
The congregation learned an important lesson. The church is never the building. The church is a group of Christ followers who live in covenant and commitment with one another and with Christ. Why is that important?
If you have any interest in “checking out church” sometime, don’t begin your search with the newest building in town or for that matter the oldest, most historic. The building is only a resource. Begin your search with looking at the church body or church members. Do they love each other? Are they pleased that you’ve come to visit and do they show interest in you? Is there a sense of God’s presence present? Are they concerned to live and put into practice the teachings of the Bible, or do they just want to talk about the Bible?
No church is perfect so don’t let a few faults scare you off. And, you’ll do well to not approach “checking out church” as a consumer. You’re not shopping for a religious commodity. You’re searching for connection with God.
Experiencing the church of God is a passion of mine. If I can assist you in any way in your search I would be pleased to help.