Sunday, September 24, 2006

Some things I have learned...

I was thinking the other day (I do occasionally think you know) about what I have learned over the past many years in the ministry.
I have learned that:
a good cup of coffee revives the body in the afternoon.
people will talk about almost anything if the conversation is boring.
people are unpredictable (including me.
it feels good to see those you have taught begin to lead.
it's a good thing to say thank you every so often.
sugar free pie is as good as the real thing.
it is hard to say good-bye to an old friend.
plans cannot replace the Spirit.
the Spirit expects us to plan.
God still moves in mysterious ways.

I've learned a lot more but that is about all my mind can think of today. What have you learned recently? I would love to discuss your thoughts with you and your questions. But please keep in mind, I have about as many questions as you do. Why not come by on Sunday morning or on Tuesday evening and let's discuss the questions? We may not get to all of them but we can give it a shot. Allen

Friday, September 08, 2006

Why Bother Going To Church?

It has been a while again since I have written any words. I suppose it has been that I have not really had much to say. I know that is hard for some of my friends to accept but it is true. As I read over some other blogs out there in wherever it is that blogs come from and go, I just wasn't ready to write much about BBQ or the latest movie I had been to. And I don't want to use this column as a place to put forth my latest grips either. I suppose there really isn't anything wrong with those things, after all, we need to be able to grip or talk about movies or BBQ (Memphis style pulled pork with slaw on top really is the best so there shouldn't be much debate anyway).

Well, to get back to my question, I was thinking this week about why people don't come to church. We preacher types think about this question a lot. We are reminded a few times a year to turn in reports of our membership and average attendance and, well, it seems relevant to what we do. So why should people bother to come to church?

I suppose many of us would want to think that folks come to hear our wonderful sermons but after rereading some of mine, I think that surely there is a better reason. Then someone said to me, "Pastor, I really don't need church as much as those other people." I heard another version of that one Sunday when a member said to me following the late service, "Well, Pastor, if they had been here, you would have given it to them." Whatever "it" may be.

Then there are those who don't come to church because it isn't as exciting as a ball game or a movie. "We want action, preacher, you know, more hell,fire and brimstone." Or, "We want more modern songs." Whatever the reason, people can find some excuse not to come.

So I thought it might be important for me to list a few reasons why I like to go to church. 1. I want to go and worship God. 2. I want to be with people who want to become more like God. 3. I want to give my life more meaning. 4. I want to participate and be there to help someone else. 5. Did I mention that we usually have great food (spiritual and physical)?

Okay, I know I am supposed to think like that because I am a pastor. But is it really a stretch for you to think like that too? Even if we don't offer you something new and wonderful this week, your being at church helps someone else. You see, our calling as followers of Jesus Christ is to be a bridge. With one of our hands, we hold on to God and with the other, we reach out to our neighbor. Is that so hard? After all, what is more important in life than the relationships that we build?

I'd love to talk with you about it. some of us get together every week and discuss our relationship with God and our relationship with our neighbors. Why not come by and talk it over with us this week? See you Sunday, Allen