Today our church joined forces with Transformation City Church (TCC) in a collective worship event. The history behind it is both interesting and cool.
As it turns out, TCC is currently beginning it's search for a Lead Pastor. As part of that search, they approached CollectiveMKE and asked if our pastor, Brandon Brown, would be willing to share his services between CollectiveMKE and TCC for the next year. After consulting with our church family and board, he agreed to help by preaching twice a month at TCC. Another outcome of this agreement was that on a quarterly basis, we would worship together at the TCC location.
So, starting today, we did just that.
And it was very good. (<<<This is Biblical, right here.)
For myself it was a sort of homecoming. About three years ago, we called TCC our home church for about 12 months. We loved the people there, the preaching from Jason Butler was second to none, and the church had a great heart for the City of Milwaukee. It had everything going for it, and had we lived closer, I'm convinced we'd probably still be going there.
But for reasons largely geographic, we stopped going. We felt like if we didn't live in the community we professed to love, we were sort of faking it. We didn't feel 100% authentic, which was unfortunate because, as I said, we loved the community of believers there.
Well, today we reconvened with them and it was as if we'd never left. As a church we (CollectiveMKE) were welcomed with open arms. We saw many familiar faces and an almost entirely new worship band, which featured amazing vocalists and gifted musicians. We sang together about breaking down walls - even church walls, denominational walls and institutional walls.
In a sense, the little churches of CollectiveMKE came to hang out with the medium sized church of TCC and made it one big, loving church without walls. And it occurred to me midway through the service how cool it was that we could pull off such an event so seamlessly. When you have two churches that are so open and accepting to ALL believers, it doesn't matter which church chose the music, or how big the kids ministry is or how we take communion.
These believers all GET IT.
As we talked in the service it's about knowing that before anything - our politics, our skin tone, our nationalities, our social status - before any of it, WE ARE LOVED. As individuals, we are called to mirror the light of Christ to others.
And that's exactly what we did today.
And the resulting light at Transformation City Church was blinding. As I looked around during the potluck and saw the interaction between the two churches, it warmed my heart.
Today it could have been called Transfiguration City Church. Which would have been entirely appropriate given the Lectionary message.
So, for me anyway, the whole day was validation that the agreement and idea between the two churches was a good one - ordained by God himself, perhaps. And if it can help TCC to heal and CollectiveMKE to stretch its stakes a little, well, that's worth the price of admission.
God works in mysterious and beautiful ways and I can't wait to sing, pray and eat alongside my brothers and sisters of TCC again soon.