You might think that is an odd question but I hear it all the time. I heard it last at the gas station on Friday as I was filling up. Now you have to understand that I drive an old car for that question to make sense otherwise you might think those asking it are a little (or a lot) off.
I have a 1984 El Camino and I would call it a 5 footer in it’s current condition. It looks pretty good if you’re at least 5 feet away so I get that question a lot. What year is it? I answered “1984” presuming he was asking about the car. Then he asked me if I am a Stoner too. I responded “Well, I used to be but now I’m just a 12Stoner”. See, I have a decal on the window that says “12Stone Church, One Matters”. Maybe you’ve seen it around.
As we pumped gas and laughed and talked the lady behind me at the pumps was listening. As my new friend was driving off, this lady stayed and asked me some questions about 12Stone. She said, “I see that sticker everywhere. Tell me about the church”. So I shared how we are a multi-campus church and the ‘big’ one is in Lawrenceville. She asked about the one on Sugarloaf near I85 and wanted to know about the other campuses. I shared we have 4 today and we are adding 5 more in January.
Then she asked me “what is your favorite part about this church?” and I paused. It seemed like an eternity and I really wanted to give her a great answer but I couldn’t come up with anything I ‘liked best’. I love everything and I stumbled through some words about the people, the sermon, our pastor staff, small groups and the music but none of it really stuck out as ‘what I liked best’.
We were holding up traffic at the gas station (it was Costco and it’s a busy place) so we had to move one but not being able to answer her question really troubled me. What could I say that would make a difference or would get her to come check us out? I didn’t know yet but I do now.
We have been in a series called God of the Underdogs and it’s been fun to hear and fun to think about. It got a little more serious last weekend but I also got an answer to my question.
As I sat down on Saturday evening I was met by a friend of mine from work. Mark has not been around much and while I knew what was going on with him I was not free to share it until now. Last week I did that silly Ice Bucket challenge and we dedicated it to Mark. He has ALS and it’s progressing. That is not silly and I would encourage you to donate (save the water if you want to) to the cause but now we can talk about it and come together to help Mark as he travels this path. He is not alone but that is not the answer to my question. It was just a nice thing to see my friend and to shake his hand.
I participated in the worship service (you do have to participate since worship is a verb) and we settled in for the message from Pastor Kevin (PK). A story about Jacob. But that was not the answer to my question yet either. It came at the end.
PK extended an invitation to those who had not accepted Christ as Savior and as I watched many folks make the walk down to the front I got my answer.
My favorite part about 12Stone church is that lives are changed.
The greeters at the doors, the coffee we brew and give away, the ushers who help you find a seat, the music that is sometimes too loud, the message from the stage or screen is all there to make a difference in peoples lives. To help those seeking answers and trying to settle spiritual things or those who have been following for a long time and feel disconnected or those who are looking for a place to plug in and get connected, 12Stone church is that place. It matters and God uses it to change lives.
So now I have an answer for that question and so do you.
The only question that remains is ‘what will you do with the information?’.
Thanks for listening,
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