The Village Church in Swanzey NH

My Family Church, The Village Church

leejohndrowteamSomeone asked me what I think makes our church culture different.

The following are my views and only my views. They are not representative of everyone’s beliefs or experiences. Simply mine. Our core values and thinking can be viewed here.

The fast answer is honor of one another, the love for one another and the fact that we are family.

  • We have a culture of honor predicated upon the thought of “esteeming others higher” from Philippians 2:3.
  • We love one another valuing love over being right.
  • Family-we are family because of the God we serve.

Other thoughts for many include…

  • We believe in and teach the grace of God. We believe that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…PERIOD” Romans 8:1
  • We believe in the finished work of Jesus and the cross, though we have unfinished business to see accomplished.
  • We are not moved by urgency but believe in the rhythms of grace. (Matthew 28:11-30) Believing there is a rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:11)
  • We believe in the diversities or the graces left behind by Jesus. Ephesians 4:11
  • We believe in the body as the representation of Christ here on earth, as joint or co-heirs, kings and priests of the Most High.

For many of us we believe in a “victorious” eschatology and the provisions provided. Not of some “doom and gloom” scenario but the victory established by Christ as a place we move from not to. That the kingdom is in on the increase and not in “remnant” mode. (Isaiah 9:7)

I recognize that not all of us in our fellowship share my views or I theirs, but we are family. Disagreement is overcome by relationship and love. I see the church as the seedbed of community and grace. Our message of His grace is changing people. Whether unbelievers or believers.

This past weekend, we had perhaps 10 new folks. Some had never been in church. Last week was the same. I have watched more people become overwhelmed by the love of the father and the people who are in our fellowship who extend love towards them without judgment, without conditions.

This was a note sent by a new visitor.

“I want to say thank you for introducing me to your church. When I go there it’s the most amazing feeling that I can’t even explain. I really would like to join every week if I could…”

C’mon down!

As I looked around our building, I realized how full the church was. How many people I saw that were not here just a few short weeks ago. How lives are changing and physical, emotional and spiritual hurts are being healed. I have seen so much healing taking place. So many lives changed for the better.

I saw all the small children gathered in the front while the music played on. The dancers and flags that just added to the moment. I watched the smiles and the tears of joy. (Who would have thought?) I watched the worship of the people take on a life of its own.

Even our announcement time just knits hearts.

I watched a man who had been healed of 11 years of pain a few months ago, walk up to me and say “I want to be part of this. If you have a spot for greeting…”

I would say we as a body are simply stewarding what we believe He has identified as important. People. His presence.

Even in the difficult times of life we are family. On Saturday I helped friends with the “celebration of life” service and gathering. Last night, I wrote “my friends are my family”. One of the people at the service wrote me this.

“I am so glad to be part of your family. As you spoke Sat. I knew you felt every emotion we were feeling and cared about each person in a personal way. You gave us comfort and love that came directly from the Lord and He used you. Praise God! This includes each person who ministered greeting, in the kitchen. Or the quiet hug gently given. Or the listening ear because someone cared and did not need to be introduced. I am so blessed even by my son, who is not a believer yet, told me this is the first service of this type was his best as he felt loved.”

That is testimony to God and not to me. I am who He has made me to be. The results of my own mistakes and shortcomings left me bankrupt, but God who is gracious, cause me to be a lover of His people. And he uses EVERYONE!

When I left the building yesterday, there were still people who were engaged in conversations through out the room. People do not want to leave. They do not want to depart. (Perhaps this is one of the reason more and more people are coming to me and others and saying “we are moving closer”.) They are falling in love with His body. Growing in His great love. (This morning I sat here and wept as I prayed for many over the beauty of His people.)

Our speaker yesterday was one of us. A wonderful young woman who shared the goodness of God and His desire to see us healed and made whole. People loved her message. Loved her heart. It was amazing. She is one of wonderful gifts and resource the Lord has created and made available to us. There are so many. I am so excited for today and what is to come!

I recognize that He is doing amazing things everywhere! How could one not be excited.

For us at The Village Church, this is a great and wonderful season. Filled with His amazing grace. We are in His season. Of love, grace and growth.

I pray and believe for the same to overcome you.

This morning I read of a “prophetic” voice, a prophet, who diminished the power of “feel good prophets” and had one of my articles “The Skittish Are Coming” as a reference. My response to him and others, is I will never plumb the fullness or the goodness of God. I will ponder light and not darkness. I will fall hard on the side of love and His great goodness. I have watched too many “lose” their lives over darkness and the “going after the sin” mentality. (I once was one.)

But in His grace He changed me. I see more fruit in this time and season with grace and loving kindness than I do or have with the “doom and gloom” thinking. I am caught up in Him and how good He is.

I love the leaders I serve with. I love the people I walk with. I could only want more of His goodness to be here, here on earth as it is in heaven.

The love of God reigns supreme. God is love and therefore His body is love.

To my friends and family of Village, I love you! I consider it a privilege to be with you!

If you (One of the Village People!) are a part of what is happening with us at the Village, consider posting a comment below and share your love with the world.

You can visit The Village Church in Swanzey New Hamsphire. For more information, visit our site, www.villagechurchswanzey.com

Written by Lee Johndrow

Lee Johndrow

Lee is on staff as the Prophetic Ministry Leader at the Village Church where he functions as one of the prophetic grace. (You can visit their site at www.villagechurchswanzey.com)

He is the father of five wonderful children. Married for over 22 years to his wife Tina. 7 grandchildren as of September 22, 2014, with another one on the way! Loving life with family, friends, faith, fun and food!

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