What My Church Does Right
What I like about my church is that it is vivid, receives new people in a very warm way, and I can perceive the presence of the Holy Spirit in it's ministries. I also like the fact that we are taught from the pulpit: "come to worship, leave to serve." —Walmir Macedo, Brazil While in college, I started going to the church I have attended for the last five years because it was right across the street and I wanted to check it out. But as soon as I began attending, I wanted to make this my "home away from home" church. I first became involved with their high school ministry on Sunday nights, then home groups, and now I'm a part of the young adult ministry on Wednesday nights. I love this church because it is made up of a bunch of people who desire to be the hands and feet of God in this world. This is a place where anyone is welcome and can call it home. It is our goal in life to be the followers of Jesus, doing whatever he does and going wherever he goes. —Ryland M. Lundy, Illinois I like the doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene. It is one of the few churches that has not forgotten its objective: to proclaim and live holiness. In my local church, I appreciate the way we work as a team toward a common objective. Even though there is diversity among the ministries, there is unity among the youth and devotion to God. —Esmeralda Casas, Coahuila, Mexico What my church does right . . .
  1. Our church does a great job of frequently reminding the congregation of our focus: To know God, to grow in our love for Him, and to share the gospel with those who don't know Christ.
  2. The way this church chooses to show others the love of God is awesome. Their constant service to unreached members of our community is unbelievable. The best part is that their programs, opportunities, and ministries are directed outwardly. What a tremendous way for the family of God to show His love. No excuses here for not participating—there's some way for each of us to do the work! —Lynn Roney, Kansas
I was raised in a Christian home and was introduced to the church as a teen when my parents decided to attend the Nazarene church in our neighborhood. As a young person I began to appreciate that the church did not have an exclusive attitude about Christianity but that as a denomination we are part of God's work and family. I still appreciate that position today after many years and friendships that have been developed with individuals at different levels of our organizational structure. As I grow in Christian maturity, I continue to appreciate the value of the holiness doctrine not only in my daily walk but also as it is expressed in the global connectivity and outreach of our Nazarene family. Another aspect is the sense of family we have no matter where we come into contact. We aren't perfect, but there we have a family connection that gives us a sense of belonging. These are even more valuable when I meet Christians from other denominations that don't always share these experiences. —Dan Reinhart, Missouri I love my church not because I enjoy great fellowship or great programs there. We are few people and we are busy people. I love my church because of the holiness doctrine. The doctrine of sanctification is not a doctrine on a piece of paper. It is a powerful life style. God enables you to live holy. Can you wrap your mind around that? It is an incredible truth. I cannot belong to any other church. I have found truth and have experienced this truth. —Natalia Nikalova, Costa Rica I didn't know there was a Nazarene denomination until God called my husband and me to this church almost four years ago. I come from a Catholic, Assembly of God, and Pentecostal background. Not only did the senior pastor and associate pastor allow my husband and me to feel like family right away, but the senior adults wrapped their arms around us and loved us the moment we walked into those doors. In many churches, there are gaps: generational gaps, cultural gaps, denominational gaps, status gaps, ministry gaps, and the like. Though our church had struggled with some of these exact things, the one thing I never felt was unloved. Love abides in my church family, and where God's love resides there is hope and people strive towards unity. As the Word clearly states, "The greatest of these is love." This church family knows the meaning of God's love—and it shows! —Debbie Gribauskas, Arizona >What I like about my church is that it is mine—because it makes me feel like I am an important part of it. It takes care of me, teaches me, lifts me up, and doesn't reject me. It also guides me so that Christ can be formed in my life. —Susana Cabral, Argentina I attend a large Nazarene Church and am active in small group and outreach ministries. I am learning that sinners are not necessarily bad people but they are hurting people who need Jesus. Through outreach ministries, I am learning to love people as they are, as Jesus did. That love can be a part of what leads them to Christ. Around my church the old legalism is dead and we are learning how to love. That's what our church does right. The flame of holiness still burns, but it burns with love. —John C. Oster, Kansas What I like about my church is the fact it isn't limited by a single locale. As a child my dad was in the U.S. Air Force and we moved a lot. I guess that way of life got into my blood, because I still move every two to five years. I have three constants my life: change, my family, and the church. The church has been a supportive, loving network. Most of the friends with whom I maintain contact are those from the church. Most recently, my mom battled breast cancer. Our church family (those that we attend church with each Sunday and those with whom we maintain contact from previous churches) called, sent cards, prayed. They included us as much as possible when we sat in folding chairs in the back of the sanctuary to avoid dangerous germs. They blew Mom kisses and gave her "air" hugs. We could feel their support. Finally they celebrated with us when Mom completed treatments. We had a H.U.G. (Halleluiah Unto God) party to praise God for His goodness to Mom. I know they made a difficult time more bearable. My church is a worldwide, caring, supportive, living, dynamic entity. —Judy Crist, Ohio Holiness Today, January/February 2006
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