I’ve had the honor to serve Sugar Hill Church as their Lead Pastor for six years now. I am so grateful for this privilege. We may never be the largest church in town, but we will never cease to have the largest heart in town!
One of the things Sugar Hill Church has kept right in front of us is the responsibility and joy of serving our community is so many ways. I have had a few folks over the course of six years question the priorities of serving in eleven public schools and side by side with our municipal leaders (which we are super proud of). When questioned about the amount of energy, money and Human Resources we expend in the community I only have one answer –
Because these folks need a place that will serve them, love them and get in their corner with them…Just like we are willing to do in Kenya, Cuba or Haiti. The hands and feet of Jesus are not directed away from Sugar Hill, simply because it is easier to show pictures of desperate people in a foreign land – You don’t have to go any further than our local schools to find partners that will help us change the world! That’s why!” ” –Pastor Chuck Allen
The following post by Philip Yancey was shared with me by a dear friend. I think he and the included quote from G.K. Chesterton convey my heartbeat for our community in NE Atlanta far better than I could:
“Community” is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives, says Henri Nouwen. Often we surround ourselves with the people we most want to live with, which forms a club or a clique, not a community. Anyone can form a club; it takes grace, shared vision, and hard work to form a community.
The Christian church was the first institution in history to bring together on equal footing Jews and Gentiles, men and women, slaves and free. The apostle Paul waxed eloquent on this “mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God.” By forming a community out of diverse members, Paul said, we have the opportunity to capture the attention of the world and even the supernatural world beyond (Eph. 3:9–10).
If we want the community experience God is offering to us, we have reason to seek a congregation of people “not like us.”
Lord, remind us that the church is Your work, and You have brought us together for Your good purposes. Help us extend grace to others.
The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. G. K. Chesterton
And a personal plea from AChuck Sugar Hill Church – Let us never stop attempting to love the community of Sugar Hill and the surrounding communities with a love that is led with grace, fueled by service, and continued in loving relationships that last into eternity!
I Love Sugar Hill Church and I love the fact that you love Sugar Hill!