We sit in the front room, sharing coffee and ourselves. I ask each elder about his own journey, his own background. The oldest of the group grew up here in one congregation and having been active in another for nearly all of his seventy years or so. Another grew up, worked with and taught in one church until they decided the Lord was leading them to build a new congregation here.
The youngest, our traditionalist hidden in the body of a rock-n-roll star turned English teacher, grew up a Quaker in western Kansas and once worshipped with an "extremely conservative" Baptist church.
As for me, well, I’ve worshipped with Church of Christ’s, Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Disciples and several different non-denominational groups over the past six decades. My core beliefs still hold intact and I’ve gained valuable perspectives from each interaction and relationship.
These men are wanting to build something good, something different, something that will honor the Christ, spread his kingdom and minister to his people. They want a worship that is focused on worship, not a conglomeration of religio-social activities. They want people to feel welcomed and challenged. They want to touch people’s lives and touch this community. They want fellowship that strengthens relationships.
I point out that we share the same goals but I don’t have the same background, don’t completely agree with every point of doctrine and don’t have seminary credentials.
The one who would seem likely to be the most bothered by that and the least likely to venture beyond his own denominational background is the first to speak. "The way I see it, you’re the preacher God has sent to us."
It was that simple. No structured interview, no oath to take or pledge to sign. For some, seeing circumstances show the thumbprint of God is sufficient assurance to continue in the direction shown.
I’d say it’s always good reason not to take a different one.