On Sabbath October 17, 2009 I had the privilege of meeting with one of our newer church plants in the Washington Conference, the Southcenter Adventist Company.
Here are a few of my observations from that wonderful experience–
- Multi-cultural Group- “Since heaven will be multicultural we decided we ought to prepare for it here” one of the church leaders said with a smile. “Although many of us came from the Korean church we now represent many cultures and countries.” The pastor is Filipino, the elder if Chinese and the deacon is Korean. A number of other Asian, African and American groups are represented, all bringing something unique to the congregation. During the World Missions time in Sabbath School several members were able to tell direct personal stories of recent visits to relatives in China, etc.
- Youthful, Family-focused Church– The congregation has a feeling of life and energy as infants, toddlers and adolescents participate in their children’s Sabbath School classes, the worship service and, of course, potluck. I had been asked specifically to preach about how to strengthen the home and family through family worship and other activities.
- Warm and friendly– I was greeted by several young men at the door as I entered the church. The three Sabbath School adult groups all reached out to those who came a little late, inviting them to join their group. One young man who was in his fifth day off drugs was encouraged and affirmed throughout Sabbath School and the worship service as he went through the stress of overcoming an addiction.
- Great Location– The group meets at the Washington Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Headquarters just a few blocks off I-5. When the new office was built a few years ago the church leaders had enough foresight to include easy access to a conference/community room for outreach activities. Southcenter is the second church planted in this location.
- Eager to Learn and Grow– After a delicious potluck about forty people stayed for two hours of training in how to share your faith in Jesus more effectively (The Andrew TEAM training) and how to develop a simple framework of relationships to be sure every family in the congregation receives regular ministry, discipleship and mentoring (The Jethro TEAM training).
I believe we will continue to hear stories of God’s transforming power in and through the lives of the Southcenter Adventist Company.