Darren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 6th-grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group & a men’s group, and serves on the Curriculum team.
When the boys were little guys, they loved to hear stories. Suspiciously timed around bedtime, they’d frequently ask, “Please tell us a story.” We are a culture that thrives on anecdotes; whether it be the childhood tales that start with “Once upon a time” or the action-packed adventures that begin with “In a galaxy far, far away” or for fans of low-brow humor “Let me tell you a story about a man named Jed.”
As we consider Resurrection’s next 20 years, perhaps some stories can help us determine our role & how we might be a part of His Kingdom.
Doris & I are often asked how we can feel connected in such a large church. Yet, for us Resurrection feels quaint & small. When Jacob was an infant, we’d leave him with the nursery during worship with Miss Millie each week. His little legs would kick with excitement as he heard her exclaim, “Welcome Jacob!” Matthew, then 3, would join us in worship in what is now the Student Center as we sat behind Don & Kay each week. Fortunately, they had raised a houseful of boys, so their smiles of understanding were a blessing as we coped with the intermittent disruption.
Today, we routinely worship as a family in the midst of dear friends each week like Bill, Mary Ann, Edna, Helen, Jim, Judy, Mike, Joan, & Judy. We make a point to say hello & check in with each other about the happenings of the previous week.
Going back further in time, Doris & I took a Disciple 1 class right after we were married. It was an opportunity for us to really connect with new friends at church as we read through the Bible. What an opportunity for us to learn about God, God’s role for our lives, & even a little bit about ourselves. (For example, we discovered that it was so wise for us to not to have met while in college. I like to get my reading done way ahead of time. Doris prefers that the information be “fresh” and would complete our reading assignment by the light of the streetlights on the way to class.) What a joy it was for us to share the news that we would be having Matthew with such incredible friends in faith.
Before even meeting Doris, I started attending Resurrection at the behest of a fraternity brother. I sat in worship on the back row of what is now the Narthex for the Wesley Covenant Chapel & the next week started attending Single Adult Sunday School after church. There were usually only 6 of us as we met in what was a large office in the annex; but something was going on. A few months later a dozen of us spent a weekend on a mission trip to Oklahoma City to re-roof an elderly lady’s home. I went along to help, though I was not a fan of heights or, truth be told, manual labor. (Um, it isn’t much of a confession when everyone already knows the answer– Editor.)
While the project wasn’t of great magnitude or earth changing, the group dynamic was dramatically altered. We had sacrificed a weekend together for God. This simple commitment of time & energy brought direction & purpose to our small band of believers. Within weeks, we were averaging 20 each Sunday & quickly grew to 40+ each week – to the point we would arrange chairs around the edge of the small office & then up & down the hallway with the facilitator standing in the doorjamb guiding the discussion.
What is remarkable about these short vignettes is that they are so unremarkable. They have been replicated thousands of times at Resurrection. All it takes is the desire to make worship part of your weekly routine & an interest to make connections with those in church with us. All it takes is the decision to start reading the Bible or join a Bible study & find out for yourself why it is the best selling book of all time. All it takes is a commitment to show the love of Christ to others by serving.
So, as the boys would say, go ahead & tell me a story. What will be your story at Resurrection?