Journeying churches over the last couple of years has been both a pleasure and a joy. Surprisingly, it has also been the source of unexpected knowledge and insight into understanding the personalities of each expression of Christ our team has visited. Yes, of course the character of each church should be that of the virtue of Christ Himself, however, we have found that all churches have their own distinct personalities. Much like a growing child, personality is developed slowly over years of maturing, and maturation is directly proportionate to self-realization. In other words, if a church is allowed to grow and is lovingly nurtured, eventually it will not only grow “in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52), but it will develop a personality all its own that will allow it to function with less and less administrative guidance and heavy handedness. This is not a mistake; this is a Godly ambition. Moving in grace is not a difficult matter, but we have a tendency to make it difficult.
Community Life Church (CLC) is a Church with character and a mature personality. They are not searching for their identity and are not copying others. They own a persona that is palpable. Everyone can feel it, although only a few can define or articulate it. The church service was seamless and as smooth as the Sea of Galilee at the Word of Jesus. Pastor Rick Snowden confidently turned the pulpit over to a resident Evangelist by the name of Owen Sterling who masterfully preached the Gospel with such elocution and distinction that I, myself was once again stirred to respond.
Owen exclaimed, “The Kingdom of the Lord is at hand”. Therefore, we need to be sharing the Good News of salvation, telling everyone about the goodness of God, as much as we possibly can. In Luke, 19:2-5, Jesus sought out Zacchaeus, a sinner who repented and became a new creation. Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector and was quite wealthy through dishonest gain. He was now changed and wanted to give half of his money to the poor and pay back 4 times the amount to all those he had previously cheated. Jesus was famous, surrounded by a crowd of thousands, but he stopped to seek the one lost sheep. Who is YOUR Zacchaeus? Challenge yourself and set goals to lead people to Christ. We mustn’t waste any time.
Communion was served in a most wonderful manner with Pastor Rick distributing the elements while a lively praise song was played by a seven-piece praise team lead by Stephanie Hart. What a set of pipes this woman has! People were dancing at their seats in anticipation of partaking of the wonderful sacrament.
In every stage of the service you could feel the presence of God. Nothing was forced, neither was attention drawn to God’s presence as if to convince an already aware audience. This is concrete evidence of maturity and a personality hard fought for over years of dedicated service. It is the sign of battles won and lost in the past, but more importantly the perseverance and determination of a man and woman of God, namely Rick Snowden and his wife Annette, who never gave up. Community Life Church’s enormous successes of today and tomorrow are a result of a long past of faithful obedience and tireless determination.
CLC is a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led Bible based church that is committed to building and equipping the leaders of tomorrow. Their Sunday services are at 10:30am, with Sunday School classes for adults and children at 9am. Their youth ministry, @TheHub, is for ages 8-19 and meets Friday’s 6:45-9pm. The CLC “Connect Groups” offer an opportunity for people to meet outside of Sunday mornings at various times and locations (listed on their website). And if you’d like to learn even more about CLC, “Growth Tracks” meets Sundays 1:00-2:30 with lunch provided. CLC is also open to other ministries using their facility which indicates their Kingdom mindset for UNITY in the Body of Christ. A building use application can be found on their website.
Upstate NY Ministry Network is not only addressing those of you looking for a home church, and CLC is perfect; we are also talking to Pastors and leaders in the Capital Region who are struggling with their own church’s character and personality. If you’re in need of understanding how to move in absolute grace and UNITY, don’t be proud! Come and see what the Lord has done at Community Life Church in Catskill, NY. Perhaps a lesson can be learned from this wonderful man and woman of God.
Church Website – www.clchurch.cc
- Written by Donna Hansen Munafo & Michael Frati