Tale of Two Churches

Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting two United Methodist Churches in the heart of Charlotte, NC. And while these churches were just three and a half miles apart, my first impression was that they couldn't be more different from one another. One church was surrounded by immaculate homes with well-manicured lawns and roads that were beautifully designed and tree-lined. The other church felt much less like a commercial for the 'American Dream.' It was gritty and raw and real. It was surrounded with broken asphalt, leaning fences, boarded up windows and noticeable signs of impending gentrification.

At one church I felt underdressed and at the other my designer t-shirt and maverick shades made me feel a bit like an uppity outsider.


However, inside of both church buildings, the people embodied the spirit of Christ. In both buildings, I met truly humble people who loved God and their neighbors. Their laughter and smiles were as contagious and infectious as their warm welcome towards me. One church gave me the gift of an area network connection, the other church sent me on my way with 18 honey buns, but both were generous with what they had been given.

After some reflection, I'm reminded of what God has been planting in my heart for years. It is something I desperately want to see realized in Reactivate Church as we continue to grow. I envision being a part of a church of those educated in college and those educated in the school of hard-knocks, a church of generous economically disadvantaged people and a church of generous materially wealthy people, a church with hues and shades of every skin pigmentation, a church that listens to one another, learns from one another and leads with one another. Imagine a church where each person is valued for the unique gift that they bring to the community.

Afterall, people are people, no matter where we come from or how aesthetically pleasing our surroundings. We all have fears, failures, hopes and dreams. We all have a story. And Jesus prays for our stories and lives to be united to one another by his grace and for his purpose.

I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world. - Romans 1:8

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Name: Jesse Smith
Address: 3340 Balsam Tree Drive, Charlotte, NC 28269