For the last two weeks I have listed 10 reasons why I love Modesto (and I really do!). You can check out those blogs here and here. For the next two weeks I will be listing 10 reasons why I love my church, Covenant Grove.
Here are the first 5 (not in any specific order):
- God is moving. Covenant Grove is a church plant, and what an adventure it has been! We started out of Modesto Covenant Church, and started meeting at Enochs High School. We grew while meeting there, and after 5 years moved to Orchard Elementary – but only for a few months. In the last year, God has led us to buy property. We have done the work to move in – and along the way we have grown even more. So many lives have been transformed by the Lord in our church. We are all about following Jesus and reaching people with Him. It has not always been easy, but it is a blast following God.
- We love to eat. I was going to put this first, but I figured (as the pastor and all) that I should probably list God first. But let’s face it, our church really embodies the whole “table fellowship” thing! And hey, Jesus did a lot of great ministry around the table. From our first ever meeting filled with cookies and donuts to all of the food we still eat today, from pizza to potlucks, from tri tip to Togos – our church has eaten a lot of food – and helped people talk, get close, and know that we love to spend time together!
- A focused mission. We are a church plant. Our mission is to (with Jesus) transform religious and irreligious people into Fully Devoted Followers of Christ. Our first mission isn’t to feed people (of course see #2) but to bring people to Jesus. 87% of the people in our county do not go to a church on a given Sunday. There are so many who don’t have a church family – and our mission is to invite them in. I love that Covenant Grove is focused on this mission, and not trying to do every “good” thing possible.
- In it together. This church is driven by volunteers, brothers and sisters who give their heart and soul to serve with Jesus. We have great pastors and leaders – but the work is not on them alone. In fact, it is common for people to come up and ask to take work OFF of my plate! We ask staff and leaders to work hard, and also to spend a good amount of their ministry time developing and encouraging others. We serve together, share the load together, and live out the mission together with Christ. And that makes it totally fun!
- Our power is prayer. Covenant Grove has grown – from 40 to 120 to 250. We are still growing. Our power is not in a great pastor – sorry to disappoint you! More often than not, I have been figuring out how to do church planting, or evangelism. I knew some things (preaching, ministry, caring for people), but I have had to learn a lot of other important things – and I have been driven to my knees in prayer. We have shared the areas where we are weak as a church, and prayed. We meet before Sunday services in a prayer circle. We pray in our Life Groups. I ask for prayer for my struggles and my family. We pray before a big event or time of inviting people. We have prayer meetings right in the middle of our worship services! I love that our church looks to God in prayer, and then works to live out what we pray. Our goal is to get out of the way and let God work. Prayer is powerful!
Well, those are my first 5 reasons why I love Covenant Grove Church.
What about you? What do you love about Covenant Grove, or your home church?