Most of us do not like it. We like things to stay the same. It feels safe. It feels comfortable. It feels predictable.
But change occurs. We get married. Children are born. Our health changes. We experience the death of loved ones. Jobs come and go. Children grow up. We move.
Life continually changes.
Antioch, Tennessee began as a small community in 1810. It was a farming community throughout the 1960s, experienced a burst of growth in the 1970s for blue-collar families, and in the past two decades has grown into a large international community. The Antioch we see today has changed dramatically. Today we can meet people from Iraq, China, Honduras, Mexico, Jordan, Cuba, Somalia, Cambodia, or from any of the 70 countries represented in our community. Most of us never knew a Muslim growing up. I am still amazed when I go into a store in our community and I am the only Caucasian, English-speaking person there. These are big changes!
But there is one thing that remains constant through all of these changes: God. He does not change. His Word does not change. His love does not change. His commands do not change. He tells us to love Him and to love others. He calls us to make disciples of all the nations, to baptize them, and to teach them. He equips us for every good work. We have many opportunities to meet and to minister to our community. One way is when we teach them an important life skill—how to speak English.
What a golden opportunity to show God’s love and to connect with our neighbors! As we welcome our community into our building on Monday and Wednesday nights, we have many volunteers who serve by teaching, setting up tables, working our check-in stations, providing childcare and snacks for our children, and helping in many other ways.
We help because we want to serve our community.We want to share Jesus’ love through this service. We want to put action to our faith.
And when some of our students visit us on a Sunday to worship God, they know we care. They know they are welcome.
God has brought the world to Antioch. Our community has changed, but our mission has not.