As most of you know, last year my wife, my boys, and I moved to Abilene, TX to work with the Baker Heights church of Christ. We feel so blessed to work with this congregation. Baker Heights has such a rich history of faithfulness and service and I believe it has a bright future as well. Although there are certainly more than five, I want to share with you these five things I love about Baker Heights.
1. The Elders – I often tell the five men who serve as elders at Baker Heights that they need to teach elder workshops. In my opinion, these men are exactly what elders ought to be. The Lord’s church needs more elders like these men. They are qualified (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9), they are humble, spiritual, wise, and mature. They spend time leading, visiting, counseling, teaching, and comforting the “sheep” in their care. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate and admire these five elders.
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28, ESV).
2. The Staff – I get to serve daily with several fantastic servants of God. The office staff and my fellow preachers take their jobs very seriously and they work “as to the Lord and not to man” (Ephesians 6:7). Many Christians assume a church office is pretty quiet during the week, but spend a day at Baker Heights and you will soon see how much work goes on “behind the scenes.”
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
3. The Evangelists – Baker Heights is an unbelievably evangelistic congregation. There are several members who are constantly having Bible studies and teaching the gospel to others. These members understand that it is not just preachers and elders who are to be evangelistic, it is the job of every Christian to fulfill the Great Commission.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching” (Romans 10:14)?
4. The Volunteers – Even if you have been a member at Baker Heights for 30 years, you probably still don’t know all the work that is done by our diligent volunteers. There are countless Christians laboring without recognition, praise, or thanks. They send cards, they make phone calls, they teach Bible classes, they work in the teachers workroom, they work in the food pantry, they fix food, they work on our facilities, they do countless jobs, and they are absolutely priceless. Some of these volunteers are deacons, others are just Christians who see opportunities to do good. Like busy little ants, they go to and fro doing the work that needs to be done.
“…And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:4).
5. The Generosity – There are so many generous Christians at Baker Heights who make it possible to do so much good. In addition to what is given on the Lord’s day, there are members who’ve donated money so we can advertise on local television. There are deacons who donate money so more can be done in their areas of ministry. There are members who donate to local work, overseas mission work, and so much more. It is so refreshing to see this kind of generosity because it is an indication of what these members truly treasure.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Why Do I Tell You This?
I want you to know these things about the congregation at Baker Heights primarily because I would love for you to worship with us if you live near Abilene. But secondly, I think we need to spend more time talking about what’s right with the church. So many people complain about things that are wrong with the church, but if you look a little closer you will find a lot of good as well.
As long as there are people in congregations, there will always be problems. No one is perfect, therefore there will never be a perfect congregation. Spend some time thinking about why you love the congregation at which you worship. Then, you can start thinking about how you can help make it even better!
I love you and God loves you,