When we lived in Georgia during our seminary years, we resided in a planned community called a mill village. The houses had wrap around porches and people sat out front on warm summer evenings. They sat in painted metal gliders and wooden porch swings; always swaying as kids played in the sandy front yards. Some strummed guitars or softly played George Jones while others strolled about and visited with one another before sauntering on.
It was like you died and went to Mayberry and it was a beautiful thing to behold. It was sweet communion where the bread was pound cake and the wine was dark, sweet tea in a Mason jar.
The early church was like that. A community defined by warmth, love and fellowship. No wonder people wanted to be a part of it.
The church must become that again…
Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since 1997.