Thursday, June 30, 2005

Muley asks: "You seem to be very active in your church. What's it like? Is it a big church with lots of departments and programs, or is it a smaller congregation? Do people know each other outside of Sunday school? And do your kids welcome being plugged in to church activities?"

My church is kinda big: about 1800 members or so. I've been a member for 18 years, so it doesn't seem "big" to me in that I'm familiar with the building, the history of the congregation and many of the people. I still meet new people every week - some of them have been members as long as I have. I think there is a natural grouping of people with children the same age (or with no children, as the case may be), and as our children enter new horizons, we meet new people.

Our church is one that traditionally meets on Sunday nights, and our congregation accomplishes that through small groups that meet in homes. Over the years we have been members of several different small groups. Those groups provide for more intimate friendships. Because of those groups, we know a lot of people very well. Such groups have been support and comfort to us through many deaths, births, surgeries and "marital growth spurts." I am very grateful for them.

People who participate in these groups do know people outside of Sunday School. Not only do they know their groups, but groups tend to volunteer together for tasks at church (like VBS, for instance), and that allows them to meet even more people. We also have "extra-curricular" activities like talent shows, cook outs, spaghetti dinners, retreats, and even a group who does aerobics to Christian music.

We do have lots of departments/programs such as a women's ministry, a men's ministry, several age-appropriate children's ministries and day-time Bible studies. Under the women's ministry (which is the one I know most about) is a sister-to-sister mentoring group that meets once a month, a Wednesday morning in-depth Bible study, a yearly women's retreat, a quilting ministry and an aerobics class.

We support missions around the world and right here in Oklahoma City. Our newest missionaries were in my small group and have just arrived in Rwanda this week. We also have some members who quit their jobs and opened a mission in the heart of Oklahoma City: Cross and Crown. Many of our small groups volunteer to go there on Sunday nights to prepare a meal and pray with everyone who comes that night. Having that mission so close to home has really affected the fabric of our church as so many people, like me, who had never done mission work before have experienced it first hand. We have been pushed outside of our comfort zone and have grown because of it.

Our children have never known anything but an active church life. They don't really know about having an option to be involved, we just are. They love VBS, including the preparation for it. They love the mission. Dinners and cookouts at church are a blast. The talent show is awesome. Their friends are at church...what's to argue about?

Thanks for asking! Next question?


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