One of the cool things about life -and ministry, for that matter- is that every once in awhile you get to walk through a good dream. You get to experience something amazing.
Back in 1958 the people of Trinity United Methodist Church moved from downtown out to our present location on East Jackson Boulevard. (Don't worry...this isn't going to turn into a long history lesson!) When they settled out here they dreamt of a worship space and a youth center/ community center. It took us until 1999 to get the sanctuary built, and then people started thinking about that community center...that youth center.
About 18 months ago we moved into a really cool facility. Designed by a firm working with a team of laity, the Trinity Life Center is really cool... hardwood floor, scoreboard, classrooms for little kids and adults, a large lobby or gathering area, a youth room that meets the needs of adolescents, and super acoustics. The really great thing is our church understands that this is a tool for God - to reach and serve the community. Our Upward Basketball and Cheerleading ministries bring about 2,000 to God's house every Saturday. One-third of those folks are not connected to a church.
People dreamed the dream. God worked in them to make the dream a reality.
So this weekend we were blessed to have Bishop Michael J. Coyner join us for services of consecration. He drove all the way from Indy to spend Saturday night and Sunday morning with us.
All four weekend services were in the TLC. Lighting and sound were nearly perfect...no real glitches. Our Chancel Choir was rocking, and our Praise Team was "on." Our food team had coffee and homemade cinammon rolls!
Do you know what the coolest part of the services were? As much as I loved the music, it wasn't the choirs or music teams. As much as I respect our Bishop, and was blessed by his preaching, it wasn't the Bishop sitting to my right. No, it was a 7th grade boy who was sitting to my left.
The boy to my left first showed up at Trinity about three years ago. He was a neighborhood kid who was often on the edge of trouble. A guy in our church named John invited the boy to our mid week meal and program. Then, John invited the boy to worship.
Now, the church has become the center of the boy's life. He spends Saturdays at the church helping with Upward Basketball. He helps sweep up bread crumbs after Communion on Sunday morning, and he works the sound/lighting board during our services when needed. Life is tough at home but Trinity has become another kind of family for the boy.
During that moment in worship, when we prayed the Lord's Prayer, I heard the boy to my left praying the prayer. He knew every word. After it was over the boy leaned over to me and whispered, "Do you know every word to that prayer?" I said, "Yes, I do." He beamed at me and quietly said, "So do I."
I don't know what kind of price you put on moments like that, but I think it was worth the $3.5 million it cost God's people to build this brick instrument of grace.