A very impactful incident happened to me today. This morning (Saturday of Labor Day weekend) I was shopping here in Miami. Mom and I just needed a couple of items for the holiday weekend. While I was trying to find some pork rinds on the chip aisle, I overheard two women talking about my home church's pastor. I know eavesdropping is wrong. As loudly as the two women were talking, I just could not resist listening in on their conversation. Remember, I am a sinner just like everyone else. This is definitely a vice I am going to have to start working on. The two women went on about how wonderful of a preacher my pastor is. I agree he is growing in his faith and confidence and it is an exciting time to get to watch him walk with the Lord down the road, learning every step of the way. He is a good, God loving man. His wife is a saint to put up with his funny side, but that just makes us [his parishioners] love him more. I hold him in high regard as well as all the other members of the congregation.

As a congregation, we ARE the Body of Christ. We love each other. We welcome new people with open arms and show them God's love the best way we can. Our members work to give back to our community. These two women shoppers said they liked the preacher and did not like the church congregation. I have to say I was a bit caught off guard. My home church has shown me the love of Christ from day one. I would do anything in the world to assist any of them in any way they may need. At the same time, I know each person has to find a church that is the right fit for them. What works for me, may not work for the person living down the street.

Let's get down to the absolute truth, God's Word. The Apostle Paul wrote 3 Pastoral Epistles (1 & 2 Timothy & Titus). The Apostle Paul wrote these letters as instructions for Timothy and Titus to use for the pastoral care needed in the early church. The knowledge the Apostle Paul presented to Titus all those years ago is still true today. "To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people" (Titus 3:2, English Standard Version). I know that not all people are going to be of like minds on whether a church is good, bad, or even mediocre. But, please do not discourage those looking for a church family! Let them make their own judgment of whether a church is the right fit for them. And, above all do not spread idol gossip. You never know who may be listening! Please join me in adding the people searching for a church home to your prayer list. Pray that they too find their church family and flourish in the knowledge and the love of our Lord. Till next week! Always 4 Christ!

Rev. Tritthart is a graduate of Westminster College and Rawlings Divinity School. She is an ordained minister, a public speaker, and a ministerial services provider offering assistance to Miami and the surrounding areas. She owns Tritthart Special Event Services and can be reached at (918) 919-1500 or www.Facebook.com/tritthartses or www.tritthartspecialeventservices.com