Pastor Tubs wife Melissa and I connected via twitter and eventually through Facebook. Melissa is a big part of our BSN community and after several conversations we realized our husbands had a few things in common, including the fact that they are both bi-vocational. I can tell you from my own experience that you have to be a very special man to not only hold down a full time day job but act as a full time pastor as well(are there really any part time pastors?). After hearing about Pastor Tubs (did I mention I love saying that name...lol?) bible study with other men from varying denominations and backgrounds I knew he would be a great contributor to BSN.
At Acts2 Church we meet on Sunday mornings and you are not invited. Yes, I am the pastor. Yes, I have said this to people.
Anyone who stopped reading at those three sentences is now switching over to their Twitter pages to write about a pastor who doesn't want people at his church. I am sure the tweets would range anywhere from "doesn't love his people and stay away" to "clearly this guy doesn't understand the Gospel" (sorry not good at twitter abbreviation). However, like many things in life that people don't want to wait to find out about before speaking, there is an explanation.
On Saturday mornings we meet at the church for men's Bible study. We do a verse by verse study of Scripture and often discuss how the particular verses help us be better husbands, boyfriends, fathers, and most importantly Christians. (Yes, most importantly Christians, if everything in my life is taken away today I still have God.) Although the group is not always large there is something still very special about it.
This group of varying size is usually always made up of men from different churches. Even in a small group it is not uncommon to have anywhere from three to five different churches represented. What makes this even more uncommon is that the churches range from Independent Baptist to Pentecostal to non-denominational. (And as we study the Book of Acts you can imagine some of the conversations.) Furthermore, this group has been known to have various ethnic backgrounds represented.
For all the men involved we simply see this as an opportunity to grow and improve in our walks with God. We tend to celebrate the different viewpoints that are offered. In fact, I believe it has shown many of us the places where we have allowed division to enter our own thinking. We have learned that it makes no difference how you "perform" church as long as Christ is always the center of all that is done.
Now, back to my initial statement. At the end of our time together on Saturday mornings I thank all the men for coming and tell many of them that they are not allowed to come back the following morning. Why? Because our church is not interested in merely moving sheep from one church to another but instead on bringing the unchurched to Christ. Perhaps, this concept may not allow us to ever have a church of thousands or maybe even hundreds but we can rest in the fact that we were not simply concerned with growing our little portion of God's Kingdom.
Ipray often that our church will always remain focused on bringing people to and growing them in Christ even if it means we never grow over a hundred people (and I stay bi-vocational). How nice would it be if we had more churches simply looking to grow people in Christ instead of growing attendance numbers and campuses?