By Jake Hall

 published in Family Matters eNewsletter, February 4, 2016

Hello, it is good to be home. Over the past two weeks, I have preached in two different
congregations in as many Sundays, and I can’t wait to return to our chancel. Peering over the pulpit at others congregations fascinated me. When you see different churches in their own context you begin to see THE church from a different perspective.

The Sunday before last I preached at Wilshire Baptist Church, a Texas-sized church that reminds me of Highland Hills, complete with stately architecture and beautiful reflective grounds. Their pulpit was large and tall like a long, tall, Texan. But it was their commitment to understanding the breadth and depth of Christian vocation that forever changed my ministry a decade ago, as well as, many of their congregants’ careers. I was struck by the role of every church in the formation of a Christian ethic of ambition.

Last Sunday, I ventured over the river and participated in our first pulpit swap with another congregation in Macon. Their sanctuary spread out like a fan. First Baptist Church of Christ Macon provided a study in both similarity and contrast. Our two congregations could not be more alike; our two campuses could not be any more different. Our common call to the physical and material needs of Macon had inspired me to wonder at the ways we might work together on Mission Macon in the future.

These trips were interesting, but here is the thing. You don’t have to leave your pew to see OUR church or THE church from a different perspective. You don’t need to hit the interstate to be introspective about our calling at HHBC. The first step is internal. Take the time and make the space to see your spiritual life in a new way. That is what our spiritual renewal weekend is all about: Seeing your life in a new way and Hearing a new word from God. This weekend our entire church body will gather for a Spiritual Renewal Retreat. In the Great Room, we will be invited to see the church and our lives from another perspective. Our special guest, Jeanie Miley, will be inviting us to hear and respond to God’s call to love. Don’t miss it. Space is still available. This might be just the thing for which you are longing.