By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter June 9, 2016

For a few weeks now, I have been thinking and writing about how the mission of the church moves us to leave the building and go out into the community. 

This week I went on a safari, of sorts, to see the sights and the sounds of the church at work and worship in the world.

The exploration began here on Briarcliff on Sunday, but the journey soon took me across the Ocmulgee river. Once on the other side, I went up and down the hills and one-way streets of downtown Macon before coming to a set of spires at our sister church, First Baptist Church of Christ Macon. There, a sea of brown-shirted choristers from all over the country filled the sanctuary. Youth from different churches and many states made one church out of many when they sang. Think of it, youth devoting their time to sacred choral music. Church happened there on Sunday night in a way you might least expect. 

On Tuesday, I set off into the wild in Milledgeville to see our children’s group in their natural camp habitat. There I witnessed bible study that engaged all the senses. During prayer time, the children named each request individually and then embodied their prayer by dipping their finger in paint and placing a print upon the cross. By the end of camp, their prayers formed a beautiful collage of colors. Their prayers became art. There at the lake, church happened in a way you might least expect, through paint and play. 

Yesterday, our church met at Amerson River Park for a picnic. There were many moments of conversation and laughter. I found myself scanning the pavilion looking across the generations. It was the church, present, at the park. One moment, in particular, stood out for me. My son, Logan, was playing with a helicopter toy with an older boy from our church. You could tell Logan looked up to Hendley as a “big boy.” As he ran around with kids from our church and from the park, I felt immense pride in our community, knowing that this is the place where my son will grow in faith. Highland Hills is the community that will shape and develop his faith. Church happened for me in that moment.

So, I ask you the question…where have you seen the church lately?

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