After reading through my first post about Charity, I decided I need to focus on one of Charity's best qualities: LOVE. Although I do plan on outlining more of what makes Charity the way it is and what needs to improve, I can't help but notice much of what I wrote appeared to me to be leaning towards the negative. That is not my intention. I love Charity, and I'd hate to put it down, especially if I want to attend there and if I want to invite people there. So here it is: LOVE.
You will find that most every person at Charity is welcoming. I went to church yesterday and my wife was sick, and it seemed like everyone wanted me to let her know she was missed. Even the pastor stopped me at the end of the service and told me,
"You tell Hannah I'll be praying for her."
The greeting time, which many churches have, both traditional and contemporary, lasts for quite a while, probably longer than 5 minutes (now I will have something to keep track of next Sunday). When the pastor or music leader retakes the podium, it still takes a little while before everyone is back in their seats. I personally prefer to have a little more... interaction with the people I say "good morning" to, so I tend to plant myself in one area and talk to one or two people for a little longer than 2 seconds.
Also, there are a few people I have grown to know as sincere. These people always seem to be truthful and open about how they feel and what they think. One man, who often stands up to make announcements, has trouble putting all his words together when he's standing before the congregation, and he's really quiet, but he is probably the most sincere person in the congregation. He really does care about you.
The congregants care affectionately for the young children in the church (more on that in my next post). Every year they try to put on a Christmas play with the kids, and the pastor always seems to have an illustration from one of the children in his sermon every week (more on that later, too). All in all, I love Charity and the people who go there. I just fit in better in a more contemporary church. But as far as Southern Baptist goes in Big Rapids, I'd have to change denominations to be in one. And I'm not doing that anytime soon.