Friday, February 25, 2011

Pancakes and Church

On most Sundays in the northern Michigan town of Marquette, a handful of college students gather for church. However, they don’t arrive at a church building. There’s no stage, no hymnals, no pastor, no kids’ program. Instead, they have pancakes. They also have a guitar, a TV, and DVD player. But, most importantly, they have people… people who desire to learn about God and his Word. In Grant and Kari’s one bedroom apartment in a snowy college town, church happens. (By the way, Kari’s my daughter and Grant is my son-in-law!)

Ben likes to arrive first. He makes pancakes for everyone and as people arrive, they enjoy a late breakfast together catching up on the events of the week. Before long, Grant and Ben grab their guitars and the group sings some worship songs together. The group then settles into their seats to hear a sermon they found online from one of several churches around the country they enjoy. (This week, they’re beginning People of the Way from Ada Bible Church). After the sermon, the group shares their thoughts, asks questions, and discusses what all this means to their lives. In a one bedroom apartment in a snowy college town, church happens.

This little house-church is filled because of Kari and Grant’s network of friends and acquaintances. These are all people they’ve cultivated friendships with and are comfortable enough to invite to their breakfast and church gathering. Ben’s a great example of how this works. When Ben met Grant a couple of years ago, he was a bit of a skeptic to Christianity. He had lots of questions and some hang ups about the whole Christian thing. Ben and Grant connect through their college classes. They found some common connections in their lives and a friendship was forged. The friendship grew and real conversations about God, faith, and following Jesus came more frequent. Over time, Ben moved from skeptic to explorer to believer to pancake maker and guitarist for a little house-church.

What’s Kari and Grant’s secret? Why do they seem to be shining in their environment? What’s so special about this young couple (other than they’re my kids)? Let me give you some of my biased observations.

• They have a positive approach to life. They express life with incredible joy. As a result, people are drawn to them.
• Their home is open to friends. Their hearts are filled with hospitality.
• They love to see people grow spiritually. They love to see the lights come on in someone’s spiritual journey.
• They’re wise with the resources they use. They choose good teachers, materials and subject matter that resonate with their group.

So what would the apostle Paul say to Kari and Grant? More of the same, I bet!

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. Philippians 2.14-16

In a one bedroom apartment in a snowy college town, church happens.

1 comment:

  1. I see God at work in our twenty something children too! Thanks for sharing this story.