Not long after our family began attending Mercy Hill, we found ourselves at the Weekender. The Weekender was something we looked very much forward to because we were eager to learn about the history, mission and beliefs of the church. We wanted to meet the pastors and staff and other people in our shoes who were new to Mercy Hill, and we also wanted to find out how we could serve and officially become part of the church. As we often say at Mercy Hill, the Weekender is “the big front door” that helps people find out all they need to know about the church and how to get meaningfully connected. So, because we knew Mercy Hill was the church we wanted to call home, the Weekender was not something we were going to miss.
Be-ing a Christian Means Be-longing
From the very beginning, we caught the vision that Mercy Hill is a church on unapologetic mission for the gospel of Jesus Christ—that He would be worshiped in the Triad and to the ends of the Earth. For us, attending the Weekender not only meant us saying that we want to know more about that mission, it meant us saying we wanted to be known and named with Mercy Hill in aligning ourselves with that mission; it meant us saying that we fully present ourselves to be used by God in whatever way he pleases for his gospel-mission in and through Mercy Hill Church. We were compelled that we couldn’t just stand on the sidelines and watch—we had to be all-in!
Our culture leads us to consider ourselves individualistic “lone-rangers” with the ability to always be free to come and go as we please. And though the freedoms we have in this country are certainly a blessing we should not take for granted, sometimes a false view of those same kinds of freedoms infiltrates the church to the point where we consider ourselves unhealthily free from the right kinds of commitments. But the Bible teaches that to be a Christian means to meaningfully be-long to a local church (Rom. 12:5). So, for a Christ-follower, the question is not: “Will I be all-in at a church?” The question is rather: “Which church am I going to call home and joyfully consider myself all-in for the mission of the gospel?” And the door to learning how to be all-in at Mercy Hill is through the Weekender.
So, are You Going to be All-In?
The first Weekender my wife and I went to was from the perspective of the attendee. And it truly was everything we hoped it would be and more. But now, when we go to the Weekender, we do so not as attendees but rather to serve and sit alongside others who come to hear about the mission. We get to hear their stories of how they came to Mercy Hill, and we try to help them connect even further to the many ways the mission is being fulfilled. And for us, that never gets old, and we pray it never will because the mission stays the same. We are still as excited about it as ever, and we truly get joy from seeing people hear about and commit to getting joyfully all-in connected to that same gospel-mission at Mercy Hill, all for the glory of God.
You can find out more about how you can be all-in at Mercy Hill by registering for the next Weekender here: www.mercyhillgso.com/weekender/.
-Rocky Wright (Regional Campus Pastor)