By Randy Garrison
Last Sunday the sermon topic at Hartselle First United Methodist was “How to be a Great Church.” Notice it was not a good church, but a great one. The words to this praise song by Chris Tomlin come to mind when we look at what a great church should and can be:
“Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God
You’re the name above all names
You are worthy of our praise
And my heart will sing
How great is our God”
So our task is to grow and became great churches for the great God that we serve.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) shares with us
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
To me this means meeting together with fellow believers so that we may lift each other up, love each other, help each other and spread the gospel to others. In doing so we should continue this practice of meeting or in present day terms attending worship and being a part of a body of believers and it becomes more important as the end of the church age approaches.
Now to tie this back to Hartselle, we have really great churches in our city. I have made the comment before I believe Hartselle has more churches per square foot than any other place I have been or visited. In fact, if you stand in certain areas you can almost throw a rock and hit more than one church. On a historical note I believe there were churches in what is now Hartselle before the city was chartered.
Most who call Hartselle home will share with you how important places of worship are to our city. In times of need or trouble the important role our churches play becomes even more important.
During two different house fires where property was completely destroyed a couple of phone calls had donations coming in from several churches. During catastrophic events in other areas of the country mission and work teams from many churches were lined up for donations as well as going to help those in need.
Many churches have committees on standby to handle crisis within the church and the community. Many also have food pantries and a clothes closest to help those in the community who may be in need. One thing I believe, in order to bring someone to salvation, many times their immediate needs have to be met. Food, clothing and shelter for a family, especially when young children are involved are most like a person’s priority for a family when they may not have food and their kids are hungry.
The great churches here in our hometown are always on standby to definitely “love their neighbor and share the love of Christ. The members of the different bodies of Christ here in Hartselle are His hand and feet looking out for His sheep. The needs are many and all our churches work to meet not only the spiritual needs of our hometown, but other needs many have in our community.
We serve an awesome God and thanks to all of our churches for doing His work.