Here are the People

When I was a boy, we played a little game with our hands. You may remember the motions and the words. Grasping your hands together, you began: “Here is the church.” Then pointing your two index fingers upward: “Here is the steeple.” Opening your hands so that your fingers are sticking up, you finished: “Open the doors, and here are the people.”

It was a simple game for children … but it conveyed the wrong idea. The church isn’t a building or a steeple. We know that. Our church isn’t located on the corner of Peachtree and Wieuca; it is located wherever you and I can be found. For over sixty years, the church known as Wieuca Road Baptist Church has never been limited to bricks, or buildings, or budgets.

Another pastor called me this week. He is planting a church in the area. His church has nowhere to meet. He wanted to know if we had space for a Bible study he leads. By the time you read this, I will have met with him to talk about a possible partnership. If it doesn’t work out, I am certain he will find a place for his people. His church isn’t limited to a physical location.

In my prayer time this recently, I have been asking God to give us a bigger vision. During the annual church in conference, much of the presentation kept coming back to seeking what God would have us do. We can focus on what we don’t have or who we’re not, or we can realize that God is indeed at work blessing our small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10).

I have challenged myself and I challenge you to bring a more passionate focus to reaching people for Christ. As important as it might be to invite someone to join us when the church gathers at 3626 Peachtree Road, it might be even more impactful to invite someone into a life with Jesus.

If you’ve been listening at all, you know about the circles of compassion and influence we’ve been talking about. Every one of us has relationships that give us opportunity to be Christ in our homes, businesses, schools, and other places.

We made a video a couple of years ago together, centered on the theme “We are Wieuca.” I cannot remember one of those scenes that featured a building. I do remember the faces of those who spoke those words. We can make a tremendous difference, obeying the prompting and urging of the Holy Spirit to be the church in our communities.

Next Wednesday night, our children’s choir and after-school programs will sponsor the annual “Back-to-School Block Party.” Children and their families will enjoy an evening of fun and fellowship from 5:00 to 7:30. A number of those in attendance might not know much about Wieuca. Sounds like a great time to be the church!

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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