Welcome to a Journey with Jesus

Here at Lowhill, our leadership team has started to read and discuss a book called Real Good Church by Molly Phinney Basket.  It’s a great resource and we’re having some great discussions because of it.

Something that emerged from our last leadership meeting was the idea of intentional welcome.   Three questions emerged from that idea that I wanted to take a moment to share.

In terms of our life at Lowhill:

Who is welcome?

How do they know they are welcome?

What are we welcoming them to?

The consensus we came to:

Who is welcome?   Everyone is welcome (and wanted).

How do they know they welcome? We’re not exactly sure if we’re conveying that welcome as publicly as possible. It’s something we’re thinking about how to act more visibly on.

What are we welcoming everyone to?  Simply put, we’re welcoming each other, our community, our friends and neighbors –and everyone else– to get to know Jesus better.  We don’t think we have all the answers, and we know that your presence with us will help us get to know Jesus better, too.

That’s not a bad start toward articulating who we are and why we gather.

Boiled down to one sentence:

We’re a church where everyone is welcome to be part of a journey with Jesus, and we’ll hope you’ll join us!

– Pastor Chris

 

The Kids’ Table: Worshipping Together as Family

Two weeks ago, we introduced a new way of sharing our worship experience as a family of faith.  Rather than separate our children from their parents and the rest of the church family during the worship gathering, we’ve created a space, “The Kids’ Table,” within the service itself where children are free to engage in age-appropriate crafts and activities building on the Children’s Sermon all while remaining in the same space as the rest of us.

The adage is true: Children are sponges. The things they hear and remember from the service, even while they’re coloring, cutting, pasting, or writing, are remarkable. Jessica Nelson, a children’s minister from Texas, says, “children need calm and security, and they don’t always get that at home. Sitting in worship, holding hands, and speaking community prayers together can give our families a respite. Once families are comfortable with these practices, they’ll be able to use them away from the church when a crisis or difficult situation emerges and they need family spirituality.”

One of our members had this to say about The Kids’ Table experience at Lowhill:  “Keeping the children in the room, having them work on their projects while still being able to engage in what the rest of the church is doing…it reminds me of a living room.  It’s like we’re all in one big family room together.”

Exactly.  That’s how it was in the early church, too.

At Lowhill, we’re committed to helping families worship, grow, love, and serve together.  Life is hectic. Families are separated during the work and school day, during sports practices and extracurricular activities.  Weekly worship, which started in the homes of early Christians, seems like a great place for families to be together.  It also helps the entire church family remember the promises it has made to help parents raise children up in the life-giving ways to which God calls us.

Another old adage says it takes a village to raise a child.  What’s a village other than an extended family of adults caring for each other and sharing in the encouragement of parents and children?  And what’s a church if not precisely an extended family?  What’s a worship gathering if not a place where the whole family can grow together in faith, hope, and love?  We’re called together as the Body of Christ, a family of faith, a community.  A village without borders and a people welcoming children, like Jesus did, without reservation.

At Lowhill, we’re focusing on living out our Christian purpose, mission, and vision in ways that welcome children, families, and neighbors with the love of Jesus.  Because He says so, yes, but also because it’s what gives us life, because it’s what blesses our community, and because it’s what really matters.  We’ll hope you’ll join us!

– Pastor Chris