1. I can be honest with you. There’s no reason I have to hide what’s going on in my life. When I struggle, when I’m afraid, when I’m off course, I can tell you. And I know that your aim is not to put me down but to lift me up. When I’m with our community I don’t feel the burden to look perfect.
2. You’re crazy encouraging. I think we have an unusually high percentage of encouragers in our community. Spending time with our church is one of the most encouraging things in my life!
3. You’re flexible. I believe one mark of a Christ focused church is flexibility–and you are flexible. That’s a breath of fresh air from a leadership standpoint. You are willing to listen to new ideas and think through them biblically, and I believe that’s a blessing.
4. You’re multi-generational. I love that we’re not all the same. That on any given Sunday I’m around people who share my preferences and those who don’t. I love that there are some of you who are in the same life stage as I am, but I also love that some of you have already been where I am. Diversity sanctifies and grows us.
5. You love the Bible. If you didn’t, I can’t imagine you would come week after week to hear men preach through books of the Bible. You come on Sunday expecting to hear someone walk through the Word and share the power of God’s life changing gospel with you.
6. You’re teachable. There’s a general attitude of learning around here. You don’t merely love the Bible, you expect it to teach you new things. I have witnessed opinions, minds, and hearts changed through Scripture, and that’s no small thing. It’s all to easy to be our own source of authority.
7. You do ministry. Each year we are doing more and more ministry in Franklinton. It’s easy to talk a big game, but actually doing something is quite different. We’re certainly not perfect on this one (or any other), but I do see a growing sense of the need to serve. I have no doubt that God is honored and pleased with our attempts to love and share the gospel with our community.
8. You’re dogmatic about the right things. There are some topics our community doesn’t see eye to eye on. Things like the finer details of what Jesus’ second coming looks like, or the precise role of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility in salvation. What’s great is that you don’t break fellowship over those beliefs. You’re dogmatic about Jesus, salvation, heaven & hell, righteousness, the Trinity, and other things that belong to orthodox Christianity. And your gracious enough to love and worship with people who see secondary issues a little different than you.
9. You help me know and delight in Christ. This church helps me keep my focus on Christ. You continually remind me that my joy is not found in anything this world has to offer. And that drives me back to Jesus, pushing me to know him better and find deeper rivers of joy.
10. All of this is about God’s name. All of the things I’ve written are not about your name, my name, or our church’s name. You know they’re all about God’s name. One of our members recently told me how someone walked up to them and said, “You go to Jonathan’s church, right?” They replied, “Jonathan’s church, what are you talking about?” Their friend continued, “You know, the church off 56, Jonathan’s Church.” Our member replied, “Oh, you mean Union View, God’s church. Jonathan doesn’t have a church.” I love that! You get that everything we do is about God!