What growing up in the Firehouse taught me about “being” the church.

I have spent 23 years in the volunteer fire service. I Joined after my eighteenth birthday. That was a rough season of life for me. My dad was always on the road during that time and I am so glad that the Lord directed me to the Firehouse. There, I instantly had 40 dads, all trying to teach me how to be a man. They taught me how to Honor and respect people. They taught me to take pride in what I was doing in life. And, they taught me to love and protect others. Oh, and not to do stupid stuff.

There was Bob and Robert, two gentleman who always looked after me. Bobby, Dave, Tom, Joe, Wes, John, Bill, Roger and Big Mike. These guys ran into burning buildings beside me, and mentored me on how to be a man. What a blessing these fellows were to a kid, who needed some stability in his life.

One of the interesting things about life in the Firehouse is, everyone is your brother. It doesn’t matter if you are from California and I am from Maine. If you are a firefighter, you are my brother.

Brotherhood is something special. Especially when it comes to the fire service. Essentially,as a firefighter, you are making a commitment to the man beside you, to never leave them behind. No matter what. We have a motto in the firehouse that says “Everyone goes home.”

That’s a strong commitment. Sometimes, the man beside you may not even be from your station. He may be a brother from the other side of town, with different skin than you have, or opposing political beliefs. In our world, that makes no difference. We go in as a team, and we come out as a team. Everyone goes home.

As a Pastor, I often take lessons learned on the fire-ground and try to apply them to my interactions in the Church! I find myself wondering which ‘Committee” was in charge when the trash cans don’t get emptied. Or asking which officer was in charge of getting the ‘Brothers” together to shovel snow off the church walkways.

There is one thing that I have to reiterate from my time as a fireman. The guys in the firehouse taught me to love people. When I get out of the car on Sunday morning and walk into the church, I see my “Brothers.”  People on the same mission as me. They may look different, and we may not agree on everything. But the scriptures teach that we need to love each other, because we have a job to do.

This past Sunday, Pastor Tim reminded us that our community needs us. We are the voice of hope that reveals the love of Christ to them. When things happen, we need to be there. Be the hands and feet of Jesus to our community.

Just like the Fire Department, our neighborhood is counting on us to be there for them when the whistle blows.

Question is… Are you ready to answer the call??

What do you think?

Till next week,


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