The Halls Are Empty Now, But. . .


I love the hallways at The Church at West Franklin. On Sunday morning’s and Wednesday nights you can overhear laughter, prayer requests, insights shared during a group time, updates on life, looks of concern, compassion, and a few bad jokes. Okay, you can hear a lot of bad jokes. You can smell coffee, donuts, essential oils, Axe Body Spray on teenagers, and perfume worn by senior ladies. There are men in ties and women in dresses. There are T-shirts, shorts, jeans, khaki pants, athletic shoes, dress shoes, flip flops, and high heels. Bulletins are passed. . . some dropped on the ground. Some are finishing breakfast as they dart to their designated rooms. Moms with multiple kids are sweating as they get everyone checked in. Other moms, having just dropped off their kids, are walking away with a great sigh of relief. You can overhear the choir practicing and see announcements being scrolled through on screens. You can see teacher’s faces light up when “their children” come running to their classroom. You can hear the copy machine running because extras are needed. Spills need cleaning. Bathrooms need more paper towels. A classroom needs more chairs. The coffee bar gets low on sugar. . . again. Ushers are figuring out who goes where when the plates are passed. You can overhear the preacher getting his mic checked and the praise team gathering for prayer. Greeters are smiling big and walking guests to desired locations.

I love the hallways at The Church at West Franklin.

Their empty now. Have been for several weeks. But you know why we gather, right? Because we love one another. Because we love Jesus. Because we have the same blood line. Because we want to grow as Jesus followers. Because we need to look at each other while we sing and remind each other of the truths we believe. Because we cannot – and were never intended to – do life on our own.

The halls are empty now, but they won’t be forever.

Would you join me in praying for these hallways? Thank God for forming the local church. Remind yourself that Jesus promised to build it. Ask the Spirit to transform us all during this season. That we come back, the same people, but different. That we come with a renewed mindset. That we come back more appreciative and grateful than ever. That we come back, eager to see one another, but eager to see these hallways filled with those who have never experienced being loved by a group of Christ followers. Pray that the Spirit would remind us that – yes, we must gather. But we are gathered, in order to scatter. We get equipped. We encourage. We challenge. We learn. We grow. . . In order to be the church in the world.

The halls are empty now, but pray – OH PLEASE PRAY! – that when they are filled again, the church would be a revolutionized church for His mission and glory in Franklin and the world.

Do it Lord!