I am not one to make a big deal over the presentation of awards. But last Thursday night is an exception.
Last Thursday night at the Greater Dufferin Area Chamber of Commerce awards presentation for Business Excellence, Compass Community Church received the award for Not for Profit Community Service. I am thrilled for our church family because it really is a recognition of all of their hard work in our community. We talk a lot about not being takers but givers in our region. We do this because we value sharing the love of God in word and deed in our region. We believe God has called us to declare and demonstrate the gospel of Jesus Christ to people in our region.
We along with many churches in our region are responding to God’s love for us in Jesus Christ by extending the grace of Jesus Christ to others. This is not shocking to me but what is surprising to me is that Compass was recognized for this by our community.
A few weeks ago we received a phone call from the Chamber of Commerce indicating that we had been nominated for this award. Anyone can nominate someone for a business excellence award but it turns out that someone not from our church, actually not from any church, nominated Compass because they recognized all the good things we were doing in our region. We were asked by the Chamber of Commerce if we would be willing to receive an award if we won and then we had to fill out some forms indicating the different kinds of ministries we are involved with in our community. A Chamber of Commerce outside of our region then reviewed all of the submissions and made the decision as to who would receive the award.
Years ago the church was at the centre of town and city life in Canada. Today the church is at the fringe of Canadian culture. Gary Nelson has so aptly described the church in Canada today as “borderland churches”. I absolutely agree with the assessment that the church today must reorient itself to a more missional type of living. We are indeed not in the centre any longer and that is more than ok. Because this is true I must admit that I was taken back that not only would Compass be nominated but that it was awarded with recognition for its impact on community service.
Last Thursday night taught me that in midst of living on the fringes, being borderland churches, it is possible to make a difference and for that difference to be noticed. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a powerful message when declared and demonstrated, in word and deed, consistently through the lives of individuals. I emphasize the lives of individuals because Compass is so much more than an organized group it is a collection of people who are making a difference in our communities across our region under a common cause and calling.
I am thankful to see that a community of faith living on mission was recognized. I am surprised by that. I am hopeful that this will lead to God being glorified and famous.