Home > Uncategorized > My story Pt. 1

My story Pt. 1

As I mentioned some time ago, I am working on some writing projects right now so my postings here have been more sparse than usual. What I want to do this week is ask for you to read and give feedback to me on a section of one of those projects. Over the next 2 days I will be giving you an introduction of sorts to a work that is focusing on how we function in biblical community. I hope you enjoy!

Where is your favorite place to have a meal? Not necessarily the best food, though it may be, but the place where you know you are going to have a good time over some good grub? Bojangles. At least that’s my place. I was officially introduced to this glorious southern fried fast food heaven my sophomore year in college. The food is dangerously tasty for the price and you get free refills on sweet tea! But the reason it’s my favorite place is because of the people I discovered Bo’s with. My girlfriend went to a school about 30 minutes from mine and she would meet my roommate and I each Sunday at a little church that was about the same distance drive for us both. We’d go to service and then head over to a Bojangles almost literally across the street for lunch afterwards. We’d re-hash the service, debate politics or theology, or bemoan our professors and the workload they had dumped on us that week. Regardless, I felt at home there in that grease pit with such close friends. Logan (roommate) and I started bringing more people to the little church and then to Bojangles after. Pretty soon, less than a year, that table of three turned into a restaurant full of college students and that little church had over 1000 people coming to it including a rapidly growing college student population.

While I was there on Sunday mornings at this church to see the growth, it was at lunch that I experienced first hand what God was doing in the lives of college students through this church. We were sharing life together more around that table than we were in the church building. That is not at all a knock on the church. It’s actually a compliment because together we were subtly learning that “doing church” did not need to be confined to a building.  That sharing a meal with friends and talking about God & life was a lot of what the first church did.  That healthy church life is actually a lot of fun to be a part of.

Our pastor would often show up there to hang with us and on a pretty regular basis the church would even host a free meal for college students…with no strings attached! People who were excited to have college students around their church? We didn’t tithe, we dressed down, traveled in herds, and laughed at all the wrong things. We had nothing to offer these people. But they loved us, fed us, and soon enough became family to us.  It was a little weird I will be honest. But clearly something was different about this church and we loved it and kept bringing more people to be a part of it.

The year we first started coming, 2002, is one I will never forget. Eight years later I find myself on staff at that same little church, The Summit Church in Durham, NC. Of all things I am a pastor now, a pastor of small groups. My job, the thing I get paid to do, is to help cultivate the community of Christ that has so radically changed my life. As I write this some 4500 people participated in worship at the Summit this past weekend and still I see the same love, grace, openness, and joy that I did as 20 year-old church skeptic.

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