What a spectacular visit! A gifted guitarist and worship leader, I have known Pastor Glenn Dionne for many years from local Christian music circles. He has been serving at Saratoga Abundant Life Church for nearly 25 years in many different capacities including worship leader, homegroup leader, elder (ordained in 2007) and now Lead Pastor (since 2016). Due to the increase in church attendance, they had to split off into two services on Sunday mornings (8:20 am and 10:30 am). When asked about the success of the church, Pastor Glenn humbly stated that it was due to the solid foundation laid by founding Pastor Dale Jensen who started the church over 30 years ago (Aug 3, 1986). He also expressed his appreciation for the myriad of gifted people who serve at the church and gave all the glory to God for orchestrating every detail.
Upon entering, Pastor Glenn was standing by the door greeting all who entered. There were crowds of folks throughout the lobby, cafe area, bookstore, as well as at the impressive welcome station. The church, being technologically advanced, offered me a tablet to enter my contact info. (as opposed to old fashioned to paper and pen). And no more printed bulletins! Their handy, dandy church app provides the information and so much more! Then they gave me an attractive church water bottle filled with a few extras. They answered every one of my questions and showed a genuine excitement when I told them about my “Church Journey Blog”. Everywhere I turned, people were saying hello and offering assistance.
The contemporary worship music was a truly an amazing expression of thankfulness to God with hands raised all over the sanctuary. There was a large presence of youth, and some even came up to the front to worship at the altar. The lighting created just the right ambience as it worked together seamlessly with the music and the spirit filled atmosphere. The announcements that followed included a couple of events that were happening at other local area churches, a huge sign that this church is KINGDOM minded, supporting the work of God outside of their own four walls.
Having known Pastor Glenn before he was lead pastor, I guess I was expecting an average message from a classic rock style type of guy. Well, this wouldn’t be the first time that my Church Journey proved me wrong! His message was not only “Above and Beyond”, that was the title, and it was also exactly what my heart longed to hear. He gave a visual, sitting on a stool and talking about the “circle”, an area around the stool. We are each given a measure of faith, a measure of grace, as well as gifts and talents. As we move “off the stool” and into our circle, we begin to operate in God’s will for our lives. But when we get to the edge and go out of our circle, we begin to do things in our own strength. 1 Peter 4:10 states, “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” We are all called to walk in our full measure (in our circle). When we do, we will not feel slighted (inferior) or superior. Humility is agreeing with God and God’s grace is about empowering us to be all He has called us to be. This all coincides with their church mission … “To Know God and to Make Him Known”.
We are all like dots in the Kingdom … and God is joining the dots, creating a masterpiece. We are God’s handiwork. Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” After hearing this message, I thought about my passion to help “connect the dots” in the Kingdom. We are all called to get off the stool, step out into our circle and get connected to the Body of Christ.
There is an extensive list of ministries at SAL including stage design, lighting, website, multimedia, sound, photography, drama, worship, bookstore, hospitality, various youth ministries, men’s ministry gatherings and Heart 2 Heart women’s ministry which is lead by Pastor Glenn’s wife, Jennifer. There are a multitude of “Life Groups” offered throughout the week at various locations, including one specifically for those involved on the worship & technical teams.
This body of believers works together like a well-oiled machine … and they use anointing oil! There is no doubt that God is truly “connecting the dots” at Saratoga Abundant Life Church!
Church Website – https://salchurch.org/
By Donna Hansen Munafo