Where’s Littlerock you ask? Nope. It’s not Little Rock, AK. It’s Littlerock, California. It’s a small town, just outside of Los Angeles County. It’s few miles to the east from the City of Palmdale, which is in the Antelope Valley. Where’s the Antelope Valley? Google it. True confessions. I never knew there was a Littlerock, California, until I was called to come serve as the pastor of the Littlerock Community Church. The town of Littlerock’s claim to fame is a cool little eclectic store called Charlie Browns. If you’ve been to Charlie Browns, you’ve been to Littlerock and of course, I wouldn’t have to describe to you what Charlie Browns is. I remember watching the local news on a certain local station, that I won’t mention, and they were talking to someone on the phone, who had won something, and they asked the person, “Where are you from?” The person on the phone said, “Littlerock,” and of the four newscasters at the desk, one of them knew where Littlerock was. Someone in the background could be heard telling them, where the town was.
Littlerock is called the fruit basket of the Antelope Valley. It has a McDonalds, a Burger King, a couple of cool little greasy spoon cafe’s, a couple of gas stations, and some schools. There was a time, if you were to drive through the town of Littlerock, along Pearblossom Highway, you could see fruit sellers along the highway, selling their latest crops. Of course that was a long time ago.
In the church, we had a family who still owns one of the fruit stands. They grow some of the best pears I’ve ever tasted in my life. What was cool, on any given Sunday, someone would bring fruits and vegetables they had grown to church, and even eggs from their chickens. Yes, I said chickens. Coolest thing ever. Right after church, as you were leaving, you could take anything you wanted that was put out. That’s why they call it community, the church coming together, to share in God’s blessings. Pretty awesome.
The church has been around for over 80 years. Last Sunday was my last Sunday serving as their pastor. This coming December would have been 8 years. I love this picture that my friend James took during the worship service last Sunday. I love it because it’s what the church should look like, when the church says goodbye and sends off a pastor. I had the opportunity to be part of these friends lives. I’ve sat with them in their joys and struggles. They even sat and listened to me get up and tell them each and every Sunday that God is with us. They even put up with those Sundays, where I had nothing, and there were Sunday’s I knew they knew I had nothing and they still thanked me for preaching. They loved my family and most of all they let me be their pastor and they taught me what it means to follow Jesus and what it means to be a pastor.
This past Sunday they prayed over me and my family and sent us off like we were one of their own, kind of like missionaries to the city down below. Down below? If you’re from the Antelope Valley, that’s what they call the city. Down below. I already miss my friends. They will forever be our friends. I also know God will provide new leadership for them. It’s a great church. It’s filled with some awesome people, who believe with all of their hearts, that God is good and that we are God’s people, sent out, into the world, to be examples of grace and mercy to everyone we meet and greet.
If for some small reason, you accidentally come across my feeble attempts at blogging, and you happen to be a seminarian or a pastor looking for a new call, I challenge you to prayerfully consider something. Why not consider being the pastor of a small church? The big church is cool. The big church has lots of people, lots of stuff, and lots of resources. I know God works in the big church. I also know God is working in the small church too. Let me rephrase that. God is at work in the small church too. I experienced it first hand and I witnessed it with my own eyes and heart. I’m a better pastor because of these friends who prayed over us and sent us off into the world this past Sunday and for this I will forever be thankful. You will always be in my prayers friends. As for my friends at Horizon Community Church? Thank you for also letting me be your pastor. What a ride!
To my new friends in Silverlake?
See you soon.