CHBC Weekender – 30 Things I Will RememberMarch 20, 2008
1. The elders meeting.
2. Joining fifty Christian brothers in singing “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” unaccompanied at the outset of the leader’s meeting.
3. The Capitol Hill elders praying by name through several pages of their membership directory.
4. Meeting times, Washington style (6pm – midnight).
5. The wonderful generosity of everyone at Capitol Hill, offering many books for free and allowing us to stay in their homes to cut costs.
6. The 150 page note book full of fascinating documents.
7. The great humility of Dever and the other staff shown in their willingness to receive critical feedback in terms of services and the Weekender itself.
8. How close the pastoral staff live to the church building and to each other.
9. The fact that the CHBC staff, with the senior pastor leading the charge, took time to learn all fifty names of those present.
10. Enjoying fellowship with men from all over the United States and from as far afield as India and Bolivia.
11. The servant-spirit of the interns who willingly gave of themselves to the visitors in so many ways.
12. Dr Dever’s study. Can I get one of these?!
13. That Mark’s study is invariably filled with people reading books and asking questions – even during sermon prep!
14. Being told by several Weekenders that they spent late Saturday night in the pastor’s study as he read through his sermon and invited their feedback.
15. Sitting next to a church member in the morning service who said that he had never previously “been part of a church like this.” “The leaders”, he informed me, “really care for the congregation as individuals. We’re not just numbers on a roll.”
16. The Sunday morning service singing – especially when devoid of accompanyment.
17. That during morning and evening services, pastors from other local churches were specifically prayed for.
18. The fact that 2/3 of the evening service congregation stayed on for the bi-monthly members meeting. They all sat gladly for a further hour and a half.
19. Church discipline being discussed and executed in terms of protecting the honour of Christ’s name.
20. The senior pastor’s gripping sermon (all 1 hour 4 minutes of it) entitled: “He bore our sins in his body on the tree.”
21. Mark Dever’s comment on Saturday night that he deliberately ties himself to his manuscript when preaching in order to contain his gregarious personality. He wants the service to be about the person of the Lord Jesus, not Mark Dever’s personality.
22. That we started a services feedback session at 10pm on the Sunday night…
23. The complementary and God-glorifying gifts of Michael Lawrence, Deepak Reju, Matt Schmucker, Andy Johnson and Mike Gilbart-Smith.
24. The unrelenting commitment to hospitality among the CHBC leaders and the fact that this aspect of the elder’s role is taken so seriously.
25. The heartfelt, biblical and specific intercessory prayer of pastor Mark for his congregation.
26. Matt Schmucker’s passion for the local church and love for the small church pastor.
27. The focus on ecclesiology. Capitol Hill Baptist thinks much more in terms of “we” than “I”.
28. How thought-through everything was: from small groups to children’s ministry, from missions to money. I learned something helpful in practically every area of church life.
29. The gospel exulting OT reflection given by Scott Croft (elder) on Sunday evening.
30. The irony that the only Scottish attender to the weekend should live with the one member of staff who is English :) Thank you Mike and Hannah.