I could pick a lot of great moments out of this last weekend in the life of Faith Community Church. We just wrapped up our sixth annual all-church campout, and just like every year it was filled with many memorable moments. There was the good food created by Chef John Stuart and his team, there was the memorable “blue water” pool prank, the kids campfire light show, and the baptism of two children who have grown to love Jesus in our Kids Community ministry. As good as those were, what I always enjoy the most are the real connections I get to make with people over the course of two days. It’s amazing how light, and yet how deep, the conversations become when your smart-phone has no connection, and there’s nothing to do but connect with one another.
My personal favorite moment came late on Saturday afternoon. I’ll admit that by that time I was pretty tired being married to the amazing Camp Director Aleta Lewis and being her right hand man, but that’s when I saw my friend Toby. He was sitting in a quiet place and I just asked, “Hey bud do you need some space or can I sit with you?” Toby said, “Come on over.” Then we just sat there and talked. Then my friend, and co-bandmate, Todd Kitch came over. Then Jonathan Hughes sat down with us. For a short time I just sat there with these three men I’ve known for 20 years. I’ve watched them get married, even officiated a few of their weddings, and I’ve watched them become fathers. These men have faced loss, hurt, and sickness and yet they have been refined into the image of Jesus – and I just loved sitting there with them soaking in the goodness of God the Father who was giving to us real connections that only He can make happen. Then more joined into our circle, then the kitchen team brought out the snow cones, and then came the instruments, and it just kept getting better.
In a world that makes it so hard to find real connections, God has created an entity called “the church” where – when it is healthy – you can find real connections with real human beings created in the image of God. If you don’t have a church where you can find real connections please don’t give up, there real are faith communities where you can know and be known in a life-giving way.