From the Music Ministry (02.01.20)

Called to Community

I grew up watching movies featuring the rugged individualist – Alan Ladd’s character in “Shane,” John Wayne’s character in “The Searchers,” and Clint Eastwood’s character in any movie he was ever in. The rugged individualist is engrained into American culture and identity. In the same vein, as a young Baptist I learned well that each person is responsible for their own salvation. I often heard in church that, when we stand before God in heaven, we will not be able to claim any righteousness from our family or group affiliation. No. We will be responsible for our own beliefs as individuals.

I thank God that he deals with us as individuals and I firmly believe we are each responsible for our own beliefs and actions. However, I think the concept of individualism is being applied to areas of Christian life to which it was never intended. Baptist musician Pepper Choplin ( has captured this idea in his entertaining song, “Solitary Church of One.” In this song a man finds the perfect church; he loves all the hymns sung, the “choir” sings in perfect unity, the budget is passed without dissent, and every sermon speaks directly to him. Of course, the catch is this man is the only member in the “church.” While this song is entertaining, it does speak a truth. Many believe they can be fully growing and active Christians without being involved in a community of believers. Of course, as Christians, we are called into community – there is no such thing as Lone Ranger Christians.
I am thankful for the community of believers at Parkway Baptist Church and I consider myself blessed to be part of this community of faith, serving with you and seeking to be God’s Kingdom in this place. I encourage you to explore your thoughts and beliefs on what it means to be a community of faith. Listed below are some hymns I find especially meaningful when thinking about being a people of God called to live in community.

Put Peace into Each Other’s Hands,” Celebrating Grace Hymnal, No. 469
We All Are One in Mission,” Celebrating Grace Hymnal, No. 269
We Are Travelers on a Journey,” Celebrating Grace Hymnal, No. 278
As Grain on Scattered Hillsides,” Celebrating Grace Hymnal, No. 274
Who Is My Mother, Who Is My Brother,” Celebrating Grace Hymnal, No. 275

Your Brother In Christ