Thankful For the Early Days…

Thankful For the Early Days…

When we visited Grace in January 1993, we honestly believed our search for a permanent church home would continue the following week. We had four kids and Grace had no youth group or children’s ministry. So we knew this new church had little to offer our family. Or so we thought. That was twenty years ago. Today, two of our grown sons still attend Grace, as do a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

In those early days, our two older boys and I would arrive an hour before the worship service. Along with a handful of others, we would unload “Big Shot” (our equipment truck), and transform an empty room into a place of worship. Together we would set up chairs, sound equipment and partitions, and do anything else that needed to be done. After the service, our whole family would participate in the tearing down of church and loading up of “Big Shot.” The next Sunday we would do it all over again.

During those set up and tear down times, our two sons were loved and taught by some of the best men we have the honor to call friends. Men like Scott Patty, Marshall Albritton, David Atchison, Paul Smith, and Jeff Gott; men who poured their lives into our boys. What these men mean to our family cannot be expressed in words.

We learned a lot about church in those days. We witnessed the real church in action. We learned that the church is not a building. It’s a gathering of believers. It’s the body of Christ. And we learned what it truly means to be a part of a community.

We are very thankful for a permanent place to worship. Thankful for the new friendships we’ve made. Excited about what the Lord is doing today through the people of Grace. But we will always be thankful for those early days of setting up and tearing down. Thankful for how those days galvanized our hearts to the people of Grace.

– Matthew Ladisa