Going to church every Sunday is something my wife Grace has done pretty much every week of her entire life. Her daddy was a pastor who planted a church before she was born, and he served as the pastor for over forty years before he retired and then passed away. She was literally born into a church that she attended her entire life until heading off to college. When God called us to plant a church, she was the first church member, and the first person to start praying for and serving in the church.
The experience of our five children is much like their mom’s. They were each born into a church, and attended the same church almost every Sunday for their entire lives.
At home, at church
Then, suddenly we stopped attending church as circumstances made it difficult. Our first Sunday as a family without a church was admittedly tough, but the kids were determined to meet as a little church in our house. One of the kids set up communion, one read Scripture, one organized prayer buddies, one lead us in song, and I taught the Bible through tears. We had church together at home as a family. Our time closed with our youngest son getting a bucket to collect an offering from us. He was determined to collect money to give to a single mom so she could buy Christmas presents for her kids a few months down the road.
Before long, some relatives joined our little Sunday church at the house. This prompted us to add a brunch that was amazingly enjoyable. The kids then started inviting friends that were in church transition to join us on Sundays.
We made it clear we were not gathering a core group for a new church, or wanting to take anyone out of any current church, which is why we did not formalize anything or meet every week. Pretty soon, there were a lot of people in our home at the “Bible study brunch” run by our kids, who were simply determined to have church. This also included a kids’ ministry for the little ones that our older kids oversaw.
Easter brunch, Driscoll style
This continued several Sundays for some months. We had our last meeting a couple weeks before Easter with a packed house. We had bouncy houses outside for the kids, a spectacular Easter egg and candy hunt, and a couple dozen live bunnies for the kids to hold and play with in the yard.
The brunch was over-the-top amazing, and lead to great conversations as people hung out for hours. These times were memories we will always cherish as we were able to connect with friends, and help people process as they transitioned to new church homes.
Finding a new church home in Phoenix
Recently, we’ve been formally attending church again on Sundays after nearly a year of processing and healing. It has been a wonderful blessing to just be with God’s people, hearing God’s Word, and singing God’s praises on Sundays. I’ve met with a number of wonderful pastors across the Phoenix valley. We’ve also attended some Jesus loving churches, and have enjoyed worshipping with God’s people from various denominations, tribes, and traditions. It’s helped us all more deeply appreciate the people of God in its fullness.
Next time you attend a church service take a moment to consider all the people who prayed, gave, and serve to make it possible. This will help cultivate an attitude of gratitude and lead to lots of opportunities to personally thank those people who are giving, loving, and serving.
Ecclesiastes Part 4
Lastly, today Ecclesiastes called “Meaningless Life? Part 4, Running To Your Funeral: Ecclesiastes 2:12-26, is available. My hope is to spend some months taking a road trip, verse by verse, together through this winding and confusing book. This will include an informal audio podcast, blog based Bible commentary, and small group questions.
To tell a friend about the new series, click the “Forward” button below.
We continue to bring back past sermons, including this week as we post messages from Luke in audio format. In addition, we are sending out new Bible teaching. I will be posting on Twitter, mainly Bible verses, insightful quotes from others, and ministry updates.
Pastor Mark Driscoll