The word “church” makes my skin crawl and I want to squeal in terror when I hear it! You can imagine that picture right? Ever since I gave my heart to the Lord in the late ’80’s I have been progressively growing in my relationship with Him. There is no doubt I love him and he unconditionally loves me. His passion and his heart for humanity are unrelenting.Yet, sadly the church as I have known it and in my own experience has failed me and maybe you too.
We must remember PEOPLE make up the church and people live’s can get messy. VERY MESSY! Yet, we ,must remember the other person is worth our time and love regardless of the outward facing appearance. We must stay around long enough to dig deep to find real truth and help that person find it too. But without knowing our identity and first loving ourselves internally and wholly we will never be able to love someone else unconditionally.
After a long sabbatical from church – over five years – I felt the Lord tugging on my heart that it was time to be apart of a church community again. Not thrilled by this idea but willing to obey, I started my “church search.” Yep, you can be assured that my guard was up. WAY UP! We have a radio station here in Houston/Katy, called KSBJ that had a church finder app back in 2012. Who knows, they still may. I came across a church that advertised “donuts and jeans.” I didn’t care about the donuts but jeans, t-shirts and shorts on Sunday mornings? You got my attention. Only thing was it was 30 minutes (at least) from where I lived. I could suck it up and drive the 30 minutes, and I did.
Little did I know that God actually knew what he was doing. Ok, a bit of sarcasm but truly looking back in hindsight (almost 5 years later) he knew exactly what he was doing and giving me exactly what I needed. Let me tell you a little bit about why I love my church community.
First, the word is made relevant and is delivered in an express delivery. Ok, it is no Starbuck’s cappuccino. It is actually better than one. Pastor Mike McGown can deliver a message that will tilt your thinking and make you ponder your perspective in 30 minutes or less. The whole service is 1 hr. from start to finish. No long dissertations with the congregation falling 1/2 asleep halfway through. He’s engaging, he’s effective and entertaining. It is actually ok to laugh in church! I mean those belly laughs.
Second, a steadfastness to stand by “family” when life gets MESSY. Perfect people wouldn’t be comfortable at Parkway Fellowship. So if you have it all together, keep going, we are not the place for you. However, if life has hit you like a tornado, your heart has been broken, you have experienced spiritual abuse, or anything else under the sun then Parkway Fellowship is for you. You will be unconditionally loved, prayed for and equipped by people that truly care.
Lastly, RELATIONSHIPS, We meet on Sunday. We call it “big church” but we also meet together through small groups. Ok, if you read my other blog post, you will hear my rant on small groups. I can safely say that I have finally found one that I really like. In fact, I am in two this semester.
Pastor Mike and the leadership of Parkway Fellowship have created a culture of care, one that is free of judgement, and openness. I guarantee you visit just one time and you will be changed. I didn’t want to return to church. I wanted to develop a core connection with a community of like minded individuals that passionately love God and humanity. More importantly, I want a place that will embrace what God did in me through those five years and help me build on it. Parkway Fellowship is everything I could need or want. Thank you Parkway Fellowship. God knew I needed you.
Have I peeked your attention? Want to learn about his awesome place I call my spiritual home? Visit their website here.