Sunday, July 22, 2012

Little C Church & Big C Church

"Remember when your parents gave you 'The Talk'?

I kid you not, those were the first words out of the mouth of Jason Hatch this morning as he began his message at First Baptist Church Irving, Texas.

This is a Yelp! picture. Not mine. :)
I was in love with this little church already. Spouse, the girls, and I visited this church today for the first time at the recommendation of a friend in Houston. I put a request out on the Twitterverse looking for Dallas/Ft. Worth area churches to visit, places to go, etc. My new Houstonian friend, Amanda, replied simply, "First Baptist Church Irving. In Jesus Name. Amen."
Well, since she said it "In Jesus Name", we gotta go, right? Good call, Amanda.

Let me say now that this was a superb day to be in the House of the Lord. I hope you were with the Body of Christ today, too.

Alright, so we walk in to First Irving...
We hadn't figured out how to work our movie-theater-style seats good before these sweet people started chatting with us. Seriously, we were greeted by more people this morning BEFORE the traditional greeting time, than we have been in all other first time church visits combined! Score. These are some friendly, welcoming people! One of the most welcoming couples has only been there twice! Is that precious?
One guy said, "Are y'all new here or do you come here every week?" I love that! They have three Sunday morning services; I dig the fact that even though we may have been regular attendees, he didn't want to chance it. So, he asked. Yes! Take notes, Kids. If you go to a church with multiple services, or even if you don't, welcome everybody! Even the folks that are members.

Right away I noticed it was a casual atmosphere. Score. I admit, this isn't very 'Radical' of me, but I also noticed the theater-style seats. I liked it. I'm sorry, Dr. David Platt. I'm sorry, Francis Chan. I just liked them, okay!? Score for the seats. Ok, fine. Just half a point for great, comfy seats.

Then, the band got up on stage. They pulled out Hillsong's "Cornerstone". Whoa, Nellie. Goallll!!
 I was about to bust out my air-drums, but I figured that was at least a third visit behavior. What? Some people raise hands, don't judge if I want to play my air-drums.  Really, it was an amazing worship experience.
Also, I noticed the worship leader favors Michael Vartan from Alias. I think he did some other acting, too, but he is always Mountaineer to me. This resemblance to a CIA counter-intelligence agent did not distract me from my praise, by the way. That may be incomprehensible for my non-spastic readers to believe, but I was focused on Jesus the whole time. :) By the way, I wanted to post some pics of Michael Vartan, but they didn't substantiate my claim, so I skipped it. I stand by it, still. Jared, I think is his name, will be forevermore known as Mountaineer.

Anyway, the pastor is in Uganda. Mission-minded. Score, again. Also, a team to an undisclosed location was headed out this afternoon. Amazing.
Jason Hatch, the College Pastor (Yay! for College Ministry!) brought the Word since the pastor was out.

So, this dude, Jason, got up and straight up began his message with, "Remember when your parents gave you 'The Talk'?"

It was over.
Score 77 times.
He had me at 'The Talk'.

Here's the scene: Matthew 16:13-18. Jesus has his disciples gathered together and he is about to give them an important talk. Just like many of your parents, Jesus took them away for this talk.

But, Jesus's talk with the disciples was not about sex. Probably because Jesus isn't Melissa. Jay-Kay! Settle down. While I am a believer in having 'The Talk' with your children early and often, Jesus's message was much more important and foundational.

Here are my notes, but it wouldn't kill ya to go online and listen to the message.

Listen, Jason, if you ever read this, Thank you. You delivered a message from God's Word as if you love it. If I know anything about the Millennial Generation/ College students it is that they can track insincerity better than any hound. Thank you for preparing relevant, exegetical message with passion. I dig it and I know Jesus does, too.

Matthew 16:13-18
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Jesus's Church

The Church has an origin. Church was God's idea. Not Peter's. Make no mistake, Peter was awesome. He is my favorite disciple, cause he and I would rather do the wrong thing than do no thing. But, Peter was not Jesus.
The Church has a foundation. Peter will be used to build the church, but Jesus is the foundation. See Psalm 118 and Acts 4.
The Church has a promise. '...upon the rock I WILL build my church.' Jesus went from 12 to 2.5 billion and the Church is still growing.
The Church has a leader. '...upon the rock I will build MY church.' The Church has been bought with a price.
<This is about the time I leaned over to Spouse and said, "We aren't going to visit other churches are we?" "No."  We have a list of churches we want to visit while we are here. Ay, the rub! Now we already like this one! Bless us.>
The Church has an identity. His people. "Big C Church" is the Body of Christ. "Little C Church" is the local church. He mentioned that college students wanting to be a part of the Big C, but not the Little C. It doesn't work that way. Acts was about the Big C Church scattering and planting Little C Churches.
<Note to Jason: I will be using this Big C, Little C thing. I love it. This is me giving you credit.>
The Church has a mission. Our mission is to offensively attack the gates of hell. We can't play defense. We are to GO to the dark places. This business about getting people to come to us and into our buildings is not GOing into the dark places. A to the Men! This is where he got pretty passionate and I was about to jump up out of my seat. Just keepin' it real, Y'all.
The Church has an enemy. Satan hates the Big and Little C Church.
     How will he attack?
  • The enemy will divide. Insert great analogy here: When a lion attacks antelope, she (we all know that the female lions do the hunting!) will separate one antelope from the herd. Perfect picture. 
  • The enemy will distract. If he can't divide the church and get some infighting going on, he will distract us. Often times with 'good' programs and events. If our attention is diverted to programs, we can think we are doing good, but we aren't finding darkness! I've heard a few times lately that "Good is often times the enemy of best". Now, that isn't in the Bible, but it is straight up truth!
  • The enemy will dilute. He will use this Seeker-Sensitive movement to water down the message.
  • The enemy will attack. He will take out a shepherd. It is very strategic. If Satan can take out some key leaders, he can destroy a church. Pray for leaders and pastors. 
The Church has a victory. Can I get a 'V for Victory'?? The gates of hell will NOT prevail. Be a part of a winning team!

What will you do?
Join. Join the fight. Pick up a sword.
Serve. "If Jesus Christ, the very dude who build this church can serve, we can serve." He said 'dude'. 
Belong. The church is not a perfect family, but it's still a family. It has the crazy uncle. This guy started using family references and I about fell out. 'Cause guess what? When you're here, you're family.We might just be the reason that there is some fun in dysfunctional. 

"If you look around your family reunion, 
and you can't find the crazy uncle, chances are, 
you may BE the crazy uncle."
Oh, my word! Just thinking about our church family in PC, I can tell you who the 'crazy uncle' is. His name is Dee and I adore him.  I know who the cutesy little kids at the kid table are. I guess I am the family member who always says inappropriateness. Or maybe Betsy. Spouse is the one everybody actually pays attention to. Or maybe B Fearnow. I know who is practical, an academic, a party planner, a worrier, a warrior, a thinker, a dreamer, a doer, a fighter. I love knowing who the family is at Plant City's First. I love knowing the roles we have fallen into. Of course they may change, but this is who we are now. And, it works.

Love a Little C church that does Big C work. 
P.S. If you were keeping score, the total was 81 and a half for the win. 


  1. LOVE it!!!Love Jason via Spouseism! First Baptist Church Irving must be doing something right (besides having comfy seats and 81points) to have hooked the Spouses' and get Missy all jazzed up on their 1st visit!! God be the Glory, Lord Love and Heaven Bless!!! Really wishin I had seen a single episode of Alias to get the Mountaineer reference....

    1. Haha! Alias and Gilmore Girls are the last two shows I watched. When they were over, I was done with TV! Maddy has me watching some HGTV, sometimes, now though!

  2. Hey, this is the pastor of that church. And I appreciate your words - - you see what I see each week: A body of believers who love one another, love Jesus, love going and love serving. Jason Hatch is an excellent preacher and a good man/husband/father/minister of the Gospel. So glad you got to hear him. My wife and my 2 kids and I were in Uganda for a month. Our church sent us there to minister and to teach for a month. Grace and peace to you...and come see us again! - John Durham

    1. Thank you so much for reading.
      I remember that y'all had been sent to Uganda. We loved that, too!
      Seriously, we love your people. FBCI was a highlight of our time in the area.
      We are currently serving at Bayou City Fellowship...which has a very similar feel.