I’m not sure this break from social media is going to work for me. Like I’ve stated in the past, I don’t care what you believe, think, or do if you’re not hurting anyone. Your business is none of mine and vice versa. However, I’m not so naïve to believe everyone feels the same about minding your own business. As a matter of fact, there are many who operate like they believe just the opposite of this concept. There are people that believe everything is their business. It’s not. These are the same people who act as if the universe revolves around them. It doesn’t. Then again, I’ve been reminded recently how little I know, and I couldn’t agree more. So, I could be wrong. What I’m not wrong about is this. Social media has helped keep me in the loop about people and situations I need to be praying for. Those things I do care about. I care about them very much.

If there has been one thing I haven’t been shy about sharing, it is my feelings on organized religion. It isn’t reasonable to think others may share my opinion. I wouldn’t want them too. Some of the greatest memories I have occurred in church. The greatest gift I’ve ever received was received in church. The gift of salvation. And there is something beautiful about belonging to a church family. While I believe every word of the Bible, some of the man-made rules, traditions, and actions of churches make me shake my head and go, “Hmm.” At the same time, I would fight for their right to believe and do as they wish regardless of the effect their rules may have on me.

Doing my best to follow my heart, I reached out to Rev. Jim McRae and Pastor Sherri Juliani of Overcome Church. Overcome is a new church that is flourishing at a fast pace. I wanted to know more about their church and share my shortcomings that have led to my skewed perception of religion. Make no mistake, I have zero doubts about my salvation. It’s religion where things get a little fuzzy for me. While talking with Jim and Sherri, it became evident very quickly they have a heart for leading people to Jesus. They also spoke of helping other believers be confident in sharing the Word of God with the world. They said while they gather as a church in two locations, Overcome Church isn’t about a building. It’s about the people. One of them mentioned Matthew 18:20 that reads, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Listening to them reminded me a building can never make a church. Only God and His believers can make a church.

Rev. Jim and Pastor Sherri have both held leadership positions in more traditional churches. So, I had to ask them what the main difference is in Overcome Church and other places they had served. Although I can’t recall the exact words or who said them, their answer boiled down to this. Less Jim. Less Sherri. More Jesus. It was a beautiful simplistic answer to what could have been perceived as a very complex question. They made it clear each of their parishioners are equally important in reaching a lost world and leading them to Jesus. More importantly, they made it clear that they were only two cogs in the wheel they call Overcome. The name of their church didn’t come by happenstance. Overcoming is something everyone of us must do many times in our lives. No one is exempt from trials. We all have successes and failures. It’s how we respond to trials, success, and failures that defines us. Listening to their stories, it opened my eyes to the many times I have failed miserably in responding to adversity. But we are never too old to try and do better.

As we ended our conversation, I hugged them both and thanked them for taking the time to talk with me. We promised to meet again soon, and that date is already set. It was clear Rev. Jim and Pastor Sherri are my friends. Driving home, the words less Jim, less Sherri, and more Jesus kept rolling through my mind. A light went off in my head. When we reach a place where we can say less us and more Jesus, only then can we lead others to the Lord.

Chris Collett is a longtime resident of Cherokee County

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