Build With Us: Chloe's Story
Chloe Howat has been part of the Centrepoint Church family since moving to Edinburgh for university in 2015. Coming from a church background, she came to the city looking for a place to settle and call home while in the city and soon found it when a friend invited her along to Centrepoint.
Most recently, she has been serving on our Worship and Hospitality teams. We've been asking her a few questions about her experiences.
Q: Why did you decide that this was your church?
A:"I remember the second time that I came to Centrepoint. It wasn’t even the consecutive week of my previous visit and yet, when I arrived, Nathan came up to me and greeted me by name. That may sound so small, but it really struck me, and confirmed in me that this was somewhere I wanted to stay. I felt so incredibly welcomed and also really valued. This pastor wasn’t self-important or separate from the body, but a brother in Christ, who genuinely wanted to get to know me.
"Everyone else I met was like that too. There was this intentional desire from everyone to speak to you and get to know you without asking for anything in return. Nobody waited till I made a commitment or made clear where I stood in my faith, they just invested in me right from the beginning, and that really meant so much to me.
"I remember very clearly the first week that I ticked the ‘This is my church’ box on the connection card. No longer ‘I’m a visitor’. I felt so happy to have found somewhere to settle but also decided in myself, if I’m making this commitment then I also need to get involved in what God’s doing here.
Q: Tell us about your experience at church since getting involved with serving on a ministry team.
A: I love how Centrepoint encourages everyone to be involved in building with the church. You don’t have to prove your abilities, but simply be willing to serve God. I remember tentatively writing on my connection card that I was interested in being involved in worship. I was put in touch with Gordon and soon after joined the worship rota. I felt they took a gamble with me, accepting me to the team before actually hearing me sing, but I’m continually challenged that God doesn’t ask for perfection from us (good job!) but instead true worship is an attitude of the heart.
"The next time service teams were plugged at the front, I felt prompted by God to ask to join the hospitality rota. The cakes at Centrepoint are some of the best I’ve ever had and, this may sound really silly, but I deliberated about it for a long time because I thought: I enjoy baking as a hobby, there’s no way I can perform to the Centrepoint standard! Again, everyone was so encouraging and welcoming; there’s no superiority. The first week I helped I led with Rachel. I was encouraged to lead from the beginning yet was made to feel comfortable and supported whilst doing so.
Q: How has serving/building in Centrepoint changed/affected your relationship with God?
A: "It’s easy to make excuses for not getting involved: “Everyone else will know each other”, “I won’t be good enough” or “People are going to wonder why I’m even here” Through stepping out in faith, I have found them to be wrong!
"I’m continually challenged by all the work that goes on in the background. Everything in Centrepoint is done to a high standard, but in serving alongside others you see that that isn’t because those involved in teams are somehow the elite, but it comes from ordinary people stepping up to use their gifts and time to serve the God they love. Through serving, God has taught me more about myself but also built my trust in him.
"Being in a team is such a supportive and encouraging place to grow in your gifts and often others call out the potential in you that your insecurities hide. Through the example of others, I’m reminded to commit everything first to God then do everything with and for him.
"Feelings of failure or comparison often highlight when my service has become a performance and God challenges that in me and helps me to seek him first in all that I do.
Q: How has serving/building in Centrepoint changed/affected your relationships with people in the church?
A: "Centrepoint is a very welcoming church, but it is still difficult to get to know everyone. One thing I’ve loved about serving more in the church is that I have met a lot of new people. It’s great not to feel trapped in a student bubble, and to get past the small talk with people. Sometimes not knowing many people is a put-off for getting involved but really it’s the ideal way to make new friends, and certainly how I’ve felt more part of the church.