What if we didn't exist?
Today, God will be worshipped at King of Peace and in more than 100 other churches in our county alone (there are 159 counties in Georgia). It would seem redundant at best to have so many churches in this one place. God would seem to be more of a major property owner than is necessary. Yet, instead of wondering why so many, consider where we would be without them. What would Camden County be like if every Christian church in the county had never existed?
I read a statistic this week that, "the average church...provides $150,000 of social services to the community." I'm not sure of the accuracy of the data, but I do know it points to a reality that the whole community benefits from churches.
In starting King of Peace in 2000, one of my primary goals was that in 10 years, if King of Peace closed that people who never attended the church would be sad to see it go. The idea was that the new church would grow to become such an important part of the community, through the ministries it provided, that the community would miss the church if it went away. I think we have already arrived at that goal in 6 years. Through the Preschool, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, we have already become an important part of the lives of many people who will likely never attend King of Peace.
Each week's local newspaper always features something that is going on at King of Peace, often several events—we are booked pretty solid. Yesterday, the Habitat for Humanity homeowner training was taking place in another part of the building while our Quiet Day on forgiveness was going on. And the things taking place at the church building are not just some community event, but they are ministries as well. We do what we do as a natural outgrowth of the love of God we have experienced in Jesus Christ.
Looking around I also realize how important our fellow churches are to our community. I wouldn't want to imagine Camden County without its many churches worshipping and serving our Lord alongside us.
In the archives is the fairly recent religion column for the Tribune & Georgian that looks at it from a personal perspective, rather than a community-wide one, in telling of The Dollar Value of Attending Church.
There is also the sermon How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place which I preached at the dedication of the building for St. Margaret of Scotland in Moultrie, Georgia. The sermon warns of not making decisions for sake of the building, but for sake of the Gospel.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church