Last Sunday, July 9th, was Youth Ministry Sunday at Riviera Baptist Church. As part of that, we had the Youth Worship Team lead the service, we presented an award for outstanding achievement to Lauren Rice, we had hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch, and we played a Youth versus Adult softball game.
It was truly a great day of showing off and showing support for the youth ministries at RBC. We have a relatively small group of teens at the church, but they are a core group, and they do so much to show their devotion to the Lord.
And they played some great softball.
The best part of the day for me was the game. Not because my team of adults (and the few younger kids not in the youth group yet) got the most runs, but because enjoying the sport with so much of the church - even those who preferred to keep score and cheer from the shady sidelines - was a great bonding activity.
The sense of fellowship in the air that afternoon was palpable. We came together not just as fellow congregants but as a church family, with an emphasis on the word “family.” We were simply doing life together on a sunny summer day in the backyard.
One of the songs that the youth worship team led that morning was a number called “Big House.” The chorus talks about “our Father’s house,” which is described as big, with a big table piled with food and a yard big enough to play football. (If it’s not stuck in your head by now, you should listen to it again.) To me, that’s exactly what that afternoon softball game felt like: turning the church building into our communal backyard.
There are many important benefits to attending a church. The first, of course, is to be able to learn about and seek after God. The second is to get and to give the support of a church family, which is so vital in times of need and for sharing our gifts. But one of the benefits that sometimes gets overlooked is the fellowship that happens between a group of dedicated believers. It builds trust. It provides emotional rest. It brings us together and satisfies our soul. It’s a way of sharing God’s love with each other in a way that makes us feel the love, too.
In other words, it is a fundamental aspect of living a Christian life. Hebrews 10:24-25 reminds us to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as [we] see the day drawing nearer.” Hanging out with one another in our Father’s house is not only an act of self-care, but of obedience, and of worship.
I’m so glad that we were able to take the time to share a fun afternoon together this week. It has been a blessing, and I hope that everyone who attended feels the same way.
We’ll be having several more church-wide fellowship events over the next few months, including the Block Party in August, and I encourage everyone to attend - and invite friends and family, too! Let’s share the love this summer.
Worship & Media Director
Riviera Baptist Church