I recall participating in the Pinewood Derby as a kid. My Dad and I worked on our cars together and we went to the races. I don't think I won... but I do remember spending time with my dad. Those are always good memories.
So as I watched dads, moms, grandpa's and grandma's helping with cars and cheering on the races, I sure felt good about a couple things.
One, it is good for our culture whenever there are opportunities for parents, grandparents and kids do things together. We believe in this as a church. Our Elementary and Youth Ministries are being built with this in mind. The most effective ways to raise children is with parental involvement. Children are chosen by God to be led by their parents. Parents are chosen by God to lead their children. That is the best way to do it. Organizations like the Scouts, sports teams and academic teams all provide great opportunities for involvement between parents, grandparents and their kids. They are not perfect, but I love seeing parents and kids doing life together. I am proud of our church and our leaders and staff who believe this and work to make it happen.
It comes in small packages too. It's not always big programs. Today I saw a dad and his two sons working on the stage set for church. I know the boys were glad to be with their dad and the dad was genuinely glad to be with the kids... and they were working for God. It's the best way to do it.
Two, I am very proud of a church who opens it's building to groups who facilitate such involvement. Our building is used every single day of the week. There are people coming and going every day. Beside the Pinewood Derby, we have special needs groups that use the building on a monthly basis, a Homeschool group that uses it regularly, moms groups that meet weekly, sports teams, Homeowners Associations, Health Challenge groups, the Local Tri-athalon clubs, and many more that use the building. Our community votes in our building. We have groups that use it for music recitals and much more.
The building we have is a tool to reach people. So imagine my joy last week when I met a woman who had started coming to church because she had been introduced to our facility and our people through the Winter Health Challenge. She had several kids and told me that she like what we were doing through the Health Challenge, and wanted to see what we were about on Sundays.
Why do we do this? Simply put, we just want an opportunity to share the gospel with people. We see the beautiful building as a tool for introducing people to Jesus. It's happening. Will we see everyone who comes through the door come to Christ? Probably not. However, we have a reputation of being a church with Open Doors. People talk in our community in a very positive way because we open our doors.
Here is the result... When people talk about needing a church, even some of our community leaders who do not attend FCC, recommend us to those who are coming to Owasso. I have been told that realtors, doctors, teachers and others have said, "you need to check out FCC." It's because of the reputation we have been able to build by being a church with open doors.
A building is not a monument to any person. It is a message. A message that there is hope and grace for people who live in our community. It is a message that there are people who are willing to go the extra mile to help them connect with their kids, or to find help in a crisis. And most of all it is a message that says, "You are worth the price to me... my Son died for you." It is the message that counts and changes lives.
By the way... you don't even have to have a building to build a reputation of being a church with open doors. Our Stone Canyon Campus has done a great job of getting out to serve people and they are only building on that reputation. I am so proud of them.
I love our church because we believe in OPEN DOORS... and that will make a difference for alot of people.