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Why I Love Our Church!

The 34 Things I Love About Grace Fellowship Church and the One Thing I Would Change (A Sermon Preached by Pastor Paul Martin one week after our church's 5th anniversary)

Why I love my church.

  1. I love the way we try to focus on God before anything else – like worship, music, programs, buildings, etc.

  2. I love the simplicity of our worship. There is no great production, no bells and smells, just corporately joining together and doing those things we know please God – hopefully in spirit and in truth.

  3. I love the accountability of a local church. People miss you when you are gone – you can never just slip away. We need this kind of relational layering in our life.

  4. I love the safety net of being a part of a local church. I know that if some tragedy fell across our path, my church family would be there for me in a heartbeat. That gives strength and courage in the tasks I am called to every day.

  5. I love the way we sing. This is probably too personal, but I cannot stand being around indifferent singing. I love to look out and see people singing their fool faces off, because they are seeking to worship God with all of who they are. I love that we think about the songs we sing and try to really mean the words and “teach and admonish each other” through them. I love that we have good songs to sing that reinforce the Truth we learn from His Word.

  6. I love the way our church loves the Word. What an amazing group of people! They are not content unless fed! Like a bunch of hungry vultures swooping around and around waiting for a sermon they can dive into and feed off of. I love that expectation from you for me to show up with a great sermon, even though it so rarely if ever happens, but that desire you have to be moved and to meet with your God is such a motivation and encouragement to me.

  7. I love having people to pray with. Prayer is so vital, so central to being a Christian and having faithful partners to kneel before the throne of God with is a joy I never take for granted. Few things encourage me more than prayer meeting.

  8. I love the way church gives opportunities to people to grow, fail, succeed, fail, attempt new things, fail, take great personal risk, fail, etc. Where else on earth are you surrounded by a group of loving friends who long for what is best for you and are willing to tolerate all your bumps along the way because they see that it is the working out of your salvation in Christ?

  9. I love how our church tries to deal with all the timber in the world... all the logs in our own eyes. O, I know we are not perfect at this, but I see people all the time being honest with themselves, confessing their sins to one another, trying to eradicate (by the grace of God) those redwoods that stick out of our eyes.

  10. I love how people in our church choose to have relationships with one another simply because we are in this church.

  11. I love how friendly our church can be on our best days. We are not perfect at this, but I love those Sundays when new folks come and 10 or 42 of you find them out, welcome them, spontaneously invite them back to your home for lunch, find some way to help them or just walk over and shake their hand.

  12. I love the way the men of our church are trying to be servant leaders... being the first to set up or take down chairs without complaint, volunteering for jobs that aren’t very nice, taking leadership positions, leading out in prayer, etc.

  13. I love the way the woman of our church are more concerned about sharpening each other in the things of the Lord than they are with discussing the latest hair styles or episode of Oprah.

  14. I love the youth in our church! What an incredible bunch of teenagers! Where else do you see a bunch of kids sitting up front, taking notes, asking questions, contributing to discussions, choosing to be friends with each other, avoiding all cliques and backbiting and silly teenager stuff? And I love that they are trying to live that way at school too, not just here on Sundays!

  15. I love the Middlers! What a fun group of kids, who love the Truth, love each other, love the games Josh can make up on Wednesday nights, love to talk about what the Lord is teaching them.

  16. I love the Juniors! I mean, who couldn’t?

  17. I love the gym and the fact that we can set up chairs different ways to help guard us from falling into unhealthy routines that deaden our worship. I love the fact there are windows in our gym and that we can see some nature while we worship the Creator of that nature. I love the fact that it is a gym and that we are constantly forced to consider that worship is a matter of the location of the heart, not the location of the body.

  18. I love the families in our church and that they are trying to live godly in this present age. I love that they are trying to love their kids and that they value children and are doing all they can to train their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

  19. I love that we do not have 87 programs running every week! But that we are trying to do a few things well – the things we know we need to do before anything else – read our Bibles, pray, evangelize, fellowship, worship, have godly families and not get tripped up by the 8000 temptations we face every day.

  20. I love that we have an imaginary friend named Walter who gives really good advice.

  21. I love that we are not perfect since it makes me pray more and more and long for heaven more and more and wish that I were a better pastor more and more.

  22. I love the way little children in our church expect to learn something in the sermons – and rightly so! And I love it when they do learn.

  23. I love that we never have to talk about money and how you should give more and how we need this or that to do this or that, but that you all give so freely and joyfully and that God continues to provide for everything we need.

  24. I love that there are young couples in our church, statistically the most undependable and faithless age group in most churches, who are responsible for huge things like kids ministries, the treasurership, leading in worship, etc – and they are faithful!

  25. I love everybody who has ever worked in the nursery – and so should you!

  26. I love that we try to memorize the Word of God together.

  27. I love that when I go and preach somewhere else, I ALWAYS feel like I cannot wait to get back to Grace Fellowship Church. The grass never looks greener to me. This is my favorite church in the whole world!

  28. I love watching you grow as the Word of God takes root in your life – and I love that so much of that growth is the somewhat imperceptible growth of a plant in the garden... you don’t see a lot of sudden, massive changes – but there is this genuine and real and deep and slow, yet progressive growth in godliness over time.

  29. I love that our men can play hockey after prayer meeting.

  30. I love that our church does not fit in my basement anymore! The Lord has blessed us with many new people and that is so cool.

  31. I love the fact that our church is starting to reflect the multi-national flavor of heaven with over 9 different countries already represented in our midst. Just this morning I looked across the gym and witnessed a Zambian, a Romanian and an Albanian (all recent emigrants to Canada) fellowshipping together in Christ!

  32. I love our church since it is more and more a real family with people in their childhood, teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. We just need a few in their 90’s!

  33. I love the fact that our church is trying to be a place of encouragement (not judgment) in a very inhospitable, mean and defeating world.

  34. I love that even though we are in the city we have lots of parking!

This one thing I would change about Grace Fellowship Church is More of Him:

  1. In our worship

  2. In our prayers

  3. In your personal walk

  4. In your family devotions

  5. In your home

  6. In the preaching

  7. In our fellowship

  8. In our singing

  9. In our conversations with each other through the week

  10. In our idle thoughts