Spent the morning at Park Lawn, the church I pastored for seven years right out of seminary at the age of 23. I left there exactly five years ago to go to Richview. So many things haven’t changed. Stan still stands at the door and hands out bulletins. The same people came late. So much else has changed, but the personality of the place remains the same. It was an odd feeling, sort of like when you run into an old flame. There’s an uneasy intimacy; a sense that you used to share secrets but you’re strangers now, although it wouldn’t take long to get past all that once the uneasiness was out of the way. I spent some time thinking about how I promoted the church all wrong. I told people we were a church on the move, that we were going to grow, all that stuff nobody buys. (What was wrong with me?) Now it’s so clear. Here’s the message: if you’re looking for the church that’s growing, has great programs, and a great future, here’s a list. Don’t come here. If you’re looking for a quirky little church where your idiosyncrasies will be welcomed, where you’ll be accepted, this is us. We’re slightly nuts, but isn’t everyone? At least you won’t catch us putting on airs. What a great marketing strategy. They are the church that drives anal-retentive people crazy. They’re also a church that just may do more for the kingdom than many of the churches that have it all put together. It was good to be back, if only for a day.