Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Shout Out to Lake Ave

I have to share this with you guys because it is such a joy in my life and such a reminder of God's grace and love in community. As many of you know this is my spring break, so this afternoon I headed over to my church here in Pasadena to hear two cellists play an AMAZINGly difficult five movement duet in preparation for their doctorate recital. Just being invited to hear these two cellists play was really a treat. A little background on the church I am attending is probably necessary at this point. So I will put the deets in 3 simple points.

1. The church is called Lake Avenue Church.
2. The church is huge, with over four thousand members in three services.
3. The church is just across the interstate, so I can walk there in an easy ten minutes.

I recently started working to get connected at Lake Avenue and it has been such a joy to connect with the people here.  The director of the orchestra has been so full of grace and so intentional about getting me connected, and being at this mini concert was just one sign that the people of Lake Avenue are amazing. When I got there it was a small group consisting of people on staff, other players in the orchestra, and a rogue Fuller student or two, so I felt pretty elite. A few minutes after I arrived the head pastor of the church came in and immediately came over and introduced himself. We talked for a good ten minutes and he then proceeded to introduce me to everyone in the room. The conductor of the orchestra then arrived and he too made sure to introduce me to everyone and tell them a little about me and my new involvement with the church orchestra. There was not a moment when I was not talking to someone, as everyone kept coming up to chat and make conversation.

Now this may not seem profound to you, but to me, this is everything. Here is a church of four thousand people, but the pastors, the staff, and the members all take the time to know me, the individual. Everyone I met today was so kind and welcoming, past just the "hi-nice-to-meet-yous." To me, it is this that shows how Lake Avenue Church truly embodies the meaning of church. They love me like family, treat me as though I am important, and welcome me into their lives with a smile and a heart like Christ. In a big church, they are taking time to know me and listen to me. This is what it means to be the body of Christ, and God has led me right into the center of it.

As I sit here and thank God for the blessings and grace He gives me, I think of this moment as an encouragement and a challenge. The people of Lake Avenue Church have changed my entire experience here in Pasadena, simply by loving and welcoming me. It challenges me to be that kind of embodiment of Christ in any church I attend, and I hope it challenges you to do the same. Whether your church is big or small, find those people who are new. Meet them, remember them, and love them. It can change someones whole day, and maybe even their whole life.

And if you happen upon this blog and you don't attend church, or you don't like church, I want you to know that there are churches and people out there that will love you, no matter what. I want you to know that there are people who embody the true meaning of loving like Jesus, and I pray that you find them. Or better yet, I hope they find you.


  1. ...and i love what your mom loves...the comment...and the girl...hugs elaine/ccww