Conversation With Our Pastor
What advice would you give someone who is looking for a church in Houston?
First, good for you. It may be that you are looking for a church because you are new – new to Houston, new to Christian faith, newly married or newly single. Christian faith and church life help us orient ourselves. Real faith provides reliable navigation for life’s journey. Healthy churches are safe places to ask hard questions, even when we suspect (know) that the answers may be long in coming. Churches build authentic community like no other place. So, with all the choices competing for your time, I applaud your search. I want you to know, the destination is worth the journey. In a good church you will find a small group that reflects who you are, friendships that both challenge you and also validate who and where you are in life. South Main is a place filled with honest pilgrims honestly seeking to follow God. For these reasons, I hope you’ll visit South Main as a part of your search.
Second, Houston has been blessed with an abundance of healthy, vibrant churches. On the one hand, that abundance is wonderful for the Kingdom of God. On the other hand, that same abundance makes finding the right church for you a little more difficult. I suggest you visit more than one church from more than one denomination. You may discover the place that fits you best is a tradition other than the one in which you grew up. You may discover real and important differences between churches of the same denomination. Ultimately, I trust you will find a place that feels like home – a place committed to sharing life as a family in a way that fits you.
If I attend South Main this Sunday morning, what should I expect?
When you come to South Main you will receive the warm hospitality of people who love God and each other, and who desire to share that love with you. If you come to our 9:40 Sunday school and Bible study hour, some members of our congregation will help you find an age-appropriate small group for you to share a time of learning about God’s word for us. We have an excellent team of Bible study teachers who are well-prepared each week. We have worship services Sunday mornings at 8:30 and 11:00. We believe God is the audience in worship and the congregation and worship leaders direct prayer and praise to God. Each week our single aim is to facilitate authentic worship of God through Jesus Christ. Our worship service is somewhere between traditional Baptist (robed choir, hymnals) and more liturgical (we know where we are in the Church year).
What will everyone else be wearing?
You’ll see a wide range of dress from business formal to afternoon casual. We want you to be comfortable and authentic to who you are, and our sense is that we ought to offer our best to God in all things and that one way we show our respect for God is in the way we present ourselves to Him.
What are some distinctive things I should know about South Main?
More and more I believe labels are unimportant and that distinctives are important. Even in a church landscape as rich and varied as Houston’s, South Main is unique. Located in the city-center in Midtown, we have vibrant missions both on our campus and around the world. We are in partnership with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the Baptist World Alliance. We are a healthy multi-generational and (praise God) increasingly multi-ethnic congregation that draws from Harris and the surrounding seven counties. At South Main you need neither check your brain at the door nor leave your heart in the car. We are large enough to have a complete array of programs and ministries and small enough that you will know personally the rest of the pastoral team and me.
Is there a place for me at South Main?
Yes. Our sense of what God desires for us to be and do has always been larger than we are on any given day. We believe each Christian has been blessed and gifted by God in unique ways to do His work. Your gifts, talents, and abilities can find a home in one of our ministries or missions. And, even more than that, you have a place here. There is a place – not just to do something – there is a place to be. I have found South Main to be a family of grace and we will be the family of God for you, if you will let us.
How can I learn more about South Main?
At the conclusion of each service I offer a variety of ways to respond and/ or to seek church membership. Any member of our pastoral team will be happy to discuss these with you.
You may also learn more about membership here by attending our new member information lunch which is offered frequently throughout the year. Email Lynda Stafford at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the next class and to register.
A parting thought…
Even if I were not the pastor at South Main, my family and I would still be members here. We love both the fellowship and the worship we have discovered in the South Main family. I hope you will visit us. If you do, please make a point of letting me know about your experience. I would be glad to speak with you on Sunday, meet with you during the week, or correspond with you via email or snail mail. Until then,
Grace & Peace be yours in abundance!