This is the time of year you just don’t want to leave Michigan. October is the crowning glory of the year here. The big oak across the street is was raining acorns on the cars in the street last night and the leaves were coloring and curling up for winter. The blue October sky is clear this morning. This weekend is going to be peak color in our part of Michigan.
Today’s Stonebridge story is about one of the many good things about Michgian. Read on.
Good Things About Michigan: Jeff Manion and Ada Bible Church
A few weeks ago Lois had a photographers thing to do in Grand Rapids. We drove together. It was a “getting-on-toward autumn” day so we took the Jeep (Red River George or George for short or R2G for very, very short). I drove to Ada to for a quiet evening walk. There were a few things I wanted to see. Ada is a lovely village with an historic district, a covered bridge and a cluster of quaint shops and studios. The streets are lined with faux gas lights. I took a good brisk walk in the cool evening. It was good. Ada is the home of the famous Amway Corporation, but there was something else I wanted to see. I wanted to visit the campus of Ada Bible Church.
Jeff Manion is the lead pastor at Ada Bible Church. In the last few years under his ministry the church has grown from about 80 to over 6000 in weekly attendance. Jeff has a unique ability to preach with relevance and real substance. He has a gift for teaching and application–really rare gifts to find in the same person.
This matters to me. I have skin in this game. Our son, Daniel attends Ada Bible Church. He is studying for ministry in Grand Rapids not far from Ada. He attends a branch campus in Kentwood. He looks forward to Sundays. He’s careful with his money. On Sunday mornings they have free coffee at Ada Bible Church. They have a good band that leads in meaningful, heart-felt worship. Dan gets his coffee, he loves to sing, he listens and is challenged. The teaching has substance. Jeff is one of the most gifted preachers I know. Sometimes Dan “Tweets” the big idea of Jeff’s message. He often brings his friends. I always debrief with him on Sunday over the phone and he tells me about the message. Usually I will watch the message on-line during the week.
I thank God regularly for a church that has captured the heart of my son, put a cup of coffee in his had, directed his heart Godward in song in a contemporary fashion that speaks to his soul, fed him with the truth of God and challenged him to live the mission of Jesus.
That’s the kind of church I want to be for others.
October 16, 2012