What Makes Us One?
What Makes Us One?
In 1909 car maker Henry Ford famously said, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”
Needless to say, our culture has moved from one choice in car colors to a seemingly endless variety of choices.
And, in a way, the same thing has happened to the church.
When I arrived at FBCG as Youth Pastor in 1986, we had one worship service, one style of worship music, one worship venue (sanctuary), one Sunday school hour, and one building.
Today, just over 26 years later, we worship in 6 services every weekend and those services take place over two days and in four different venues, using up to 4 different styles of music.
We operate two campuses and offer multiple equipping options at both campuses – not only on Sundays, but throughout the week. And if you miss a weekend – you can watch the sermon you missed on our website or keep up with our sermon series through the online devotional guide, “10 Minutes with God.”
Sometimes I miss the “old days!” It was simpler to understand, easier to lead, and it was comfortable. But our community has changed and our opportunities have grown, and God has called and enabled FBCG to adapt and change in order to more effectively reach both our community and the world.
As I look at and experience our church family these days, I think I can make two observations that are equally true.
- FBCG is not the same church it was when my wife and I arrived in 1986.
- FBCG is exactly the same church it was when we first began ministry here.
How can both be true?
It comes down to what truly makes us one.
In Ephesians 4:4-6 the Apostle Paul writes:
There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6
Paul is teaching the early believers, and us, that what makes the church one has nothing to do with buildings, campuses or worship venues. But our one-ness has everything to do with Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that dwells in our hearts by faith and shapes us into the body of Christ.
At our annual picnic/baptism in August (which this year included a food-pack event for the first time), I thought about Paul’s words. I saw hundreds and hundreds of people, representing multiple generations, multiple communities, and even multiple cultures, gathered from across two campuses and multiple worshiping communities, sharing both fellowship and service together, and unified in the Spirit and truth of Jesus Christ.
Week after week we affirm our commitment to reach, connect, equip and serve; and in recent days have launched our “Serve the World” initiative to make the gospel visible and tangible through local and global mission partners.
As I peer into the future God has for FBCG, I see us continuing to worship on different campuses and in different venues; I see us celebrating worship with different styles of music; I see us offering many different points of connection and many different opportunities for spiritual growth and service; but I see us as ONE.
We are one in the Spirit; we are one in purpose; we are one in Christ; we are one church! Thanks for being part of the FBCG family!
Pastor Brian Coffey