Pastors Garage

*Pastor Mike’s Garage-Sept 15/2023*

Well I’m very excited to announce that this coming Sunday will be our first
potluck in sooooooo loooonnnnggg! OK, well maybe it hasn’t been that long,
but it’s felt like long! To me, at least…..OK, well maybe not everyone is
as excited about potluck as I might be…..

There’s just something about gathering together for a meal that we have all
made a contribution towards! Something magical happens that is more than
just trying some new dishes that you did not prepare. I believe there is a
communal, relational, and even spiritual component to gathering together
around a table, especially when all gathered contributed. Even if, not that
it has ever happened in our case, some of the dishes are subpar, or even
not that appetizing, there is something precious about caring more about
who is at the table with you, and their feelings, than how much you might
enjoy a particular dish. There’s a bond that grows when any group of people
gather together, prepare a meal, eat it, and clean up afterwards!
Together, in unity, working side by side!

This is something that every person from generations previous, when the
average family would have had like twenty or thirty kids, would have
naturally experienced. I find it interesting to note that when you talk to
someone who was a product of that generation, their favourite memories
always surround being and working together. Even though most of those
families existed during a time in history where money was tight and nothing
was fancy. When you talk to someone who grew up during those times they
quite often will say they didn’t even realize they were poor. If they would
have focused on what they didn’t have I’m sure they would have had much to
list! Yet they didn’t notice because the focus was on being together and
survival! Even though there was little money or opportunity for the good
things in life we often hear many memories of wonderful, entertaining
experiences together as a family. They had everything they really needed,
each other!

When I think of potluck, I associate it with church. Now I know you can
have a potluck in any situation. Probably every culture, worldwide, has
their version of potluck. Maybe atheist, or even satanic groups have
potlucks, I don’t know. It’s just in my personal experience, from a young
age on, the vast majority of the potlucks that I’ve been a part of have
been in a church family setting. As I think about it, a potluck is also a
good picture of what the church should look like.

In our time in history and culture we have turned church into something
more similar to eating out at a fancy restaurant. We clean up and dress up
for the occasion, putting on our best appearance. We expect a clean,
pleasant, appealing atmosphere, with friendly service. Some pleasant
background music is always nice, and of course the quality of the food is
what brings us back time after time! If for some reason something on our
plate is not just as we ordered, we can always send it back to the kitchen,
after all, we are paying good money for this meal! When we get tired of the
atmosphere of a particular restaurant, we expect them to remodel, or change
their style, otherwise we might just check out the one down the street!
When the entertainment gets a bit old, we start looking for what else is

The trouble with this mentality is that church is not, nor was it ever
designed to be, a consumer experience! When we start viewing the church
like that, it’s easy to look elsewhere. When it’s all just a show, put on
by a few participants, it’s easy to become dissatisfied when we’ve seen the
show a couple times. Not to mention the actors tend to get tired themselves
after putting on the show for a while or always being expected to provide
something new!

But church wasn’t meant to resemble a spectator sport or consumer
experience. Scripture describes the church as a group of believers, all
working together, side by side, towards a common goal. While they might
have different assignments or tasks, there is no hierarchy. There are no
spectators. We’re all in this together, a community, or family! Similar to
a potluck! The meal doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as we’re together!
What the world needs, and even desires, is not a better experience, show,
or restaurant! It’s a sense of belonging, to be a part of something, a
family! The family might not be perfect, very few are, but they are in it
together, building memories, striving together towards a common goal!

This is how the writer of Acts described the very first church. “All the
believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship,
and to sharing in meals(including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep
sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous
signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and
shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and
shared the money with those in need. They worshipped together at the Temple
each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with
great joy and generosity-all while praising God and enjoying the goodwill
of all the people. *And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those
who were being saved.*”Act 2:42-47

Do you ever wonder why, in this day and age when churches are providing a
better show than ever, they are shrinking and closing faster than ever?
Ever wonder why, even though churches have put much emphasis over the last
many years in becoming more seeker sensitive, we seem to be receiving a lot
less “goodwill of all the people”? There just doesn’t seem to be much
sense of awe, from within or without. What is our common goal? What are we
devoting ourselves too? How are we in fellowship?

This Sunday would you join us for our Sunday service? We’re all in this
together, it’s just not the same when you’re not there! It’s potluck! Tatum
and Rachel D are leading more of an interactive fellowship style service.
There will be nursery care provided for those ages four and under. For
those a bit older, we would love to have them join in our service! Sunday
school will be kicking off the following week! Come be a part of our
family, you belong here!

Pastor Mike