Sunday, August 24, 2008

Love It!

Last Sunday our church celebrated its fifth birthday. To help ring in the celebration, we had our first service in our new facility. It was such a cool, inspiring service. The Lord is really at work in this place. When it began five years ago, it started with 120 people; it hit 3,000 on this particular day. It's the first church I've ever been a part of that really does welcome everybody, no matter who you are, what you've done, what you look like, if you're old, young, married, divorced a million times, if you're broke as a joke or filthy rich or anywhere in between. Everyone is welcome! It's not about numbers or fancy buildings or popularity or any of that dumb stuff. TCABC just wants to help share Jesus with our world. It's thrown out all of the old church cliches that many people are turned away from and instead really just gets down to the Bible and helping us get a grasp on its teachings and how to make it REAL in our lives. There's no pastors yelling and stomping at you; nobody wearing robes (lol); no rituals; no "preachers"; no pressure to have to wear expensive clothes; just everyday people searching for something.

There are critics, however, who would say that it's "conforming to wordly standards" by throwing out all that old stuff. (Which that, in and of itself, sounds just like exclusive, churchy lingo and another example of what many unchurched people just don't get!) As a former skeptic myself, I understand that. However, in my opinion, there is no doubt in my mind that this "style" of church is touching lives. I just know too many people who have come to know Christ through the way its relevant lessons are taught. That's not to say that TCABC thinks it's doing everything right and all the other thousands of churches around here are wrong. Seriously. TCABC is simply offering their help for those people who couldn't find a place in other churches, or who are just curious about Christianity. Non-Christians are welcome to attend all they want and just get an understanding of who Jesus is; "sinners" don't have to get their acts together before stepping foot back in the door of a church...we all either are or know someone like this.

All that to say that Kendall and I both love our church. We've made great friends. We've learned about God's love for us. Our hearts have been opened to what it's like to really live by faith no matter how stressed life gets. We've been able to reach out into the community and volunteer in areas that often get overlooked. We've learned that there's a difference between having head knowledge of what the Bible says and actually living a life that represents what Christ is all about. We're not perfect; we're all just on this journey together.

Below is a link to a sweet slideshow of the past year and the special birthday service. The song that's playing was written just for the occasion. And, if you're wondering why there's a huge (16'x16') Connect 4 on the stage, it's bc we just started a series called "Connect." It's about feeling out of place in life and finding a way to connect the dots, connect with God, to develop a close relationship with Him.

And, obviously, if you don't have a church home or are ever visiting Tulsa (or Pryor), you have to visit us at TCABC! Duh!

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