by Lisa Meyers
Wouldn’t you love to be called “irresistible?” Any person would. We often call desserts or babies “irresistible.” What would it be like if our church was called “irresistible?” That’s the word that Sib Charles of Joni and Friends uses to describe a church where every individual is loved, honored and celebrated… even those with disabilities. An “Irresistible Church” is an authentic church built on the HOPE of Christ and one which compels people to come and join in. It’s a place where people feel they truly belong.
At FCC we work to be a place where people belong. We have a volunteer team who welcomes and greets visitors each Sunday. We host a monthly Welcome Party to introduce newcomers to the pastoral staff. We periodically hold classes for new attendees to share with them our church convictions and programs. But do we embrace disability universally across the congregation? It’s a question our kids’ ministry staff has been asking now for a few years. And the answer we keep coming back to is, “we want to be like that. We want to offer the HOPE of Jesus to all children, including those with special needs.”
This past summer FCC hosted a seminar on Autism, one of the prominent diagnoses for children with disabilities today. Our speaker dispelled some myths about ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
Written by Lisa Meyers
One of the hardest things to do when you are in the throes of raising children (diapers, school lunches, soccer practice!) is to take time out to think about and plan meaningful family activities. And yet, family traditions… vacations together to the same beach house or egg hunts at Grandma’s house or fall apple picking… are all occasions children remember long into their adulthood. And the truly important ones get passed on to their children. I know this because it’s happening to me! We have dear friends who we made memories with while experiencing those traditions year after year. We’d laugh and say,” why are we doing this again?” And the answer always came back, “because it’s a tradition!”
Have you ever been driving home in the evening and glanced at a house you pass, noticing the warm light shining through the window? Have you thought, like I have, “I wonder what they are doing tonight? It looks so inviting in that room!” We’ve probably all experienced that wonder before. Chances are, the people living in that house are doing the same thing you and I do when we get home from work or an evening meeting. We kick off our shoes, make and eat dinner and settle in. Maybe we get the kids in the bath and in bed. Maybe we check email or Instagram or throw in a load of laundry. If we have time, we watch a movie on Netflix or read a few chapters of a good book (if we can stay awake!) We have that in common. We spend our evenings doing what most other people in our neighborhood or apartment buildings are doing. We live a common life.
At Fellowship, we also live a common life. We have in common the habit of getting up on Sunday mornings and making our way to church. We worship, listen to the sermon, drink coffee together and head home for a Sabbath afternoon. We have our faith in common. We share the belief that Jesus really is who He said He was, and that He will do what He says He will do. Together and as individuals we believe and trust in God our Savior.
Although our life is common, it is not mundane. It is not ordinary, although it may seem so at times. In reality, we live an uncommon life in that God’s Spirit lives in us. In 2 Corinthians 6:16 Paul writes to the believers, “And God has said, ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’” We live with the Spirit of the Living God dwelling in us. That’s certainly not ordinary! When I take time to simmer on that truth, I am blown away by the fact that God uses ordinary people to accomplish HIS unordinary deeds!
What we're learning in Fellowship KIDS
I love watching children learn. Just look at their faces when they are focused, concentrating on something. Hoping to understand. Wanting to understand. Faces scrunched up tight. Eyes glued to what they are doing. Brows furrowed. You can see the stretching and leaning and yearning. What if we all assumed that posture when we are offered the opportunity to learn about God? Could we possibly be as little children, stretching, leaning into, and yearning for truth, for life, for Christ Himself?
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” And they came. Freely and with intense excitement, desiring to sit on his lap. They came. Mary also came to Jesus that way. Sitting at His feet, she learned from the Savior. She desired to spend quality time with Him, even to the point of making her sister mad that she was not contributing to the household chores. Jesus said that if we come to Him as little children, in this same way, with this same desire to spend time with Him, we, too, would meet Him. We too, could learn of Him and His kingdom.
What would we learn?