One of the guys I met in VA Beach was Jim Baucom, the pastor of Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church, VA, a suburb of DC. It’s a pretty big, urban church. Their youth ministry represents 50 different high schools. They have 4 weekend services at the main campus, plus another Sunday morning service at their Crossroads Campus (the sermon for Sunday’s Crossroads service is recorded during Saturday night’s service at the Falls Church campus, and they watch the video).
From what little I talked to Jim, he seems like a great pastor and leader for that church. His dad and my current boss worked together at a church in Martinsville in the late 1980’s, so that’s how I met Jim. I was intrigued by what I heard about their church, so I decided to check out their Saturday night service. He taught about being a member of the body–just like your finger, ear, eye are members of your human body–and making sure we use all the resources, gifts and talents we have to make a difference.
An interesting point he made: he doesn’t have the gift of giving, but someone in his former church who did made sure that certain needs were taken care of by a group of givers, but anonymously. While Jim isn’t a giver, he is motivated by people who do have the gift to be the giver that God has called him to be. I don’t have the gift of evangelism, but Jim said he does. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go tell people about God. But Jim’s purpose then is two-fold: to use his gift of evangelism to be a zealous advocate of God to the people he comes in contact with. And to be a motivation to me and others to step out of our comfort zones and make a difference in somebody’s life.
It was good to be in a “big church” like I grew up in. Throughout my drive home tonight I pondered how my church, the church I am employed by, can strive to make a difference in our community. We don’t need to have 3,000 members and a budget of $3 million. But we can’t just sit still and wait for God to take us off this earth. We need to stand up, go out and make a difference. A church that doesn’t see lives changed and new people coming into the community is a church without a vision, and a church that’s lost its purpose. I hope that’s not us…