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The Rev. Dr. Tripp Martin The Rev. Dr. Tripp Martin

The Rev. Dr. Tripp Martin is the pastor of Auburn First Baptist Church in Alabama. Previously, he has served as pastor of Vineville Baptist Church in Macon, GA and as an associate pastor at Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson, MS.

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Auburn First Baptist Church, Auburn, AL

Church Talk

September 25, 2014

The life of the church in many ways is a web of ongoing conversations.  It begins with the ongoing conversation of worship, as we sing and pray, listen and discern.  It is the audible sound of the calling to "follow me," which takes place in community, leading us forward as a congregation.  The conversation stretches from worship into prayerful conversations for one another and for the world.  The discussion about the love of God that takes place in worship unfolds into a conversation about the love of neighbor, pouring forth from the walls of the church into God's world.

These types of conversations then spread outward in multiple directions like a spider web, becoming the ministry of the church.  They bring people together to study, and they send people out to serve.  They become the topics of committee meetings, and they guide the work of the church both locally and globally.  All the while, these discussions reach back to those first conversations about the love of God and about the love of neighbor.

A web is created through these conversations that foster the connections between us.  All that we say and do forms who we are, as a community of faith.  It is why we speak carefully, mindful of others.  In our conversations, we do not whisper, for they are for the community to hear, but we do not shout either, so as to respect everyone.  We are mindful to speak with one another and to one another, never at one another, and we listen as much as we speak.

The interconnections between us throughout the church are part of our strength.  They hold us together, and they form us as a community of faith.  The ongoing conversations of the church remain ongoing.  At times, it might feel as if the conversations of the church move in circles, more meeting than doing, which is why we try and anchor each conversation in those first conversations about the love of God and the love of neighbor.

As we talk, we continue to meet in worship, and we continue to reach out to serve.  Committees continue to come together to discuss, and the congregation continues to do its work as well.  We continue to talk the talk, not as a way to avoid walking the walk, but as a way to act well towards one another, building more than we see and removing more than we know. 

With our words, we build trust and hope, leading us to act out of our love for God and our love for neighbor.  We also remove more than we know, softening our edges, removing despair and disappointment, resentment and misjudgment, nurturing the community among us, as we are committed to our calling together.

We give thanks for all the ways we are connected through the life of the church, spinning a web of conversations that draw us closer to one another and to God.  These conversations do remain ongoing, but we find strength in working together.


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