for one of my classes, i’m required to do five servant evangelism “acts.” i’d been waiting for the basketball season to end and for the weather to get nice so i could do one of the block parties that the seminary does on weekends. this weekend, i finally got to do that.
going into this weekend, i had no clue what to expect. i just knew i’d be going down there, helping run this thing, and hopefully i would have a good time. i had no clue i would enjoy the trip or that it would be as beneficial as it was.
i woke up at 5:20 in the morning on saturday. before i go any further, let me say that waking up before the sun does should be a sin. if not a sin, it should be illegal. after taking a shower, i headed towards campus. on the way over there, i said a quick prayer to god. “hey, i don’t know your plans for today. i don’t know why it was this block party that i signed up for. you know though. you have a plan for today. let my heart be open. let me be bold if the chance to share your story with someone comes up. let me see what it is you want me to see.” i swung by hardee’s, got some breakfast, picked up a friend, and then met the rest of the team to load up and leave. by 6:15, we were on the road.
i had never met four of the six others on this trip and barely knew another. at 6:15 in the morning, when you barely know people, it can be a little awkward. that didn’t stop me from being me though. we made the drive down to raleigh and met the campus pastor of the raleigh campus of c3 church. we then went over to the site of the block party to set up. we got set up and then things took off.
over the next few hours, i saw something that i didn’t expect to see. going into this thing, i knew that we were going to basically run the block party while the church members went out and made relationships with the people that were there. what happened was that about an hour into the event, people from the church wanted to run the event. not only did they want to make the relationships, but they also wanted to serve their community. that was awesome. at one point i walked up to our team leader and said, “dude, i haven’t really done anything in an hour. everywhere i go someone from the church is wanting to do it.” i was more than happy to step back and let them do it and watch god at work through this church.
while we were there, the campus pastor had asked us to come back to their main campus in clayton and go to one of their services that night. i had no problems with it at all and to be honest, i really felt like i wanted to go. i saw the way these people were acting and wanted to go check out the church that developed people like this. i know how my church in lynchburg is and how much i love it there, so i wanted to check out a place three hours away that was thriving just as much. after we packed up, we made the drive out to clayton.
before i get into the church stuff, their building was amazing. i know some church people think that a building isn’t important and nice facilities don’t matter but as someone who works in real estate, who appraises houses for a living, i can appreciate when something is nicely done. they didn’t miss a beat on this facility.
we were hanging out in their cafe just resting and waiting for the service to start. i wanted to go look around so me and a couple of other guys went out exploring. everywhere we went, people said thank you to us for what we did earlier in the day. it felt weird. i felt like i should be thanking them for the way they had treated us and all the things they had done to accomodate us. that spirit was evidenced all over the church. it felt nice. it felt good.
we went to their service that night after all of this. overall, it’s the thing i remember the least. that’s not to say it was a bad service at all because it wasn’t. that’s just how much the spirit of the people and their attitude stuck out to me. i always tell people that for us to make an impact on our town, our city, our country, and the world we have to stop acting like christians and start acting like christ. i saw this at that church. as someone who ran from a call to ministry up until three months ago, it was encouraging to see that there are places living out the stuff that i feel inside me. i’m a little jaded by the church i grew up in. for a while i thought that the church i go to in lynchburg was out on an island and no one else was like us. i saw this weekend that there are others out there that live out what we’re commanded to live out.
matt fry, rod gray – if you guys read this, thank you. thank you for that church. thank you for everything your members did for us yesterday. you’ve got something special down their in the middle of nowhere (i can say that, i have friends from johnston county.)
if anyone is reading this from raleigh or anywhere around clayton – check out c3. you won’t regret it. this isn’t the church you grew up in. this isn’t the church that hurt you growing up. this is the real thing. this is what we need more of. you won’t regret it.
as always, thanks a ton for reading. remember to say your prayers and take your vitamins.
have a nice day.