A few weeks ago I had the honor of being on the Earle Farrell show as he spent time highlighting some people and businesses of Southaven. Mr. Farrell made things very relaxed and conversational as he interviewed me. He asked some general questions and graciously allowed me the opportunity about talk about Trinity and some of the ministries we are involved in.
I made a statement regarding the reason we moved as being because it put us in an area of Southaven that was established and many churches had moved to other parts of the county. Now to be clear, that was not a praise on Trinity nor an indictment on any other church, but simply a point of fact. I went on to explain that we were offering an “English As A Second Language (ESL)” class; and it was at that point that Mr Farrell made a statement we should all find interesting. He said there is a tendency for people to just live and be around those who are like them. Not an exact quote, but this is what the gist of what he said. Now, what Mr. Farrell stated in passing was something that is not even debatable in our society. Look at your neighborhood, your school, where you shop…. is there a trend?
As we have discussed these types of topics in Bible studies and meetings, I believe this has much to do with socio-econmics, where one lives and several other factors. I seized this moment in the interview and spent some time pointing out that, while that is true in society, it certainly should NOT be true in the Church. What unites a local church should not be color of skin, background, socio-economic group—what unites us is Jesus Christ and our worship of Him. In fact, we as the Church are called to be witnesses both individually and corporately, to a lost world. There is nothing that displays the power of the cross more than when the world sees people who seemingly have nothing in common except Christ, come together and worship the One true God.
At Trinity we have an amazing Children’s Ministry, but because I am the Senior Pastor I don’t get to spend a whole lot of time in this ministry. However, I don’t know if I have ever heard our children sing “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Do you remember that song? I do. I would sing “Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world: red and yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight…..” Sad thing is, I don’t even know if now this song would be “politically correct” enough in our society. But, I remember singing it when I was a child.…me and all 20 of the other white little boys or girls in my class. I would rather our children worship in community with different ethnic groups and races than sing a song about it but never experience it! This is not about race…it is about the Gospel. It is about our witness to a lost and dying world. It is about a message to our children, but the message is the Gospel. I need people in my life who are different than me – people who don’t necessarily look like me, speak like I do with my southern accent, or even hold my political leanings. As the Church, we should look different than any other group or club in our community… because we are not just a group or club…we are a body! A body that displays the manifold grace of God. I thank the Lord for the work HE has been doing at Trinity in this specific area and I pray we continue to grow in it! Thank you Mr. Farrell for the great opportunity to share and thank you Trinity, for being obedient as the Lord is shaping us for His glory.