Discovering a New Community in the Church

Discovering a New Community in the Church

I have conducted hundreds of funerals during the last fifty plus years. Arguably the strangest one I ever conducted (because of what preceded the service) was one in which the family of the man who had died insisted that he was a member of our church. Not that it made a huge difference–I would have done the service regardless–but they wanted me to be sure and say that he was a “baptized member of the church”. My secretary searched the old records; the search went back more than five decades. Finally, in an ancient file tucked away in a corner, we found the man’s baptismal date. He had indeed been a ‘member’ of the church. Or was he? In checking with some older members, they remembered that shortly after his baptism, he quit coming to church and most certainly never contributed anything at all to the life of the church. I will leave his eternal destiny to the Lord Jesus, but as far as his ever taking any steps towards contributing to the life of the church, he most certainly fell far short of what his life could have and should have been.

Monday…Read Luke 13 and Mark 11 and watch as Jesus curses a fig tree (Mark 11) because of its barrenness and teaches in Luke 13 a lesson on grace as another barren tree is allowed one more year. Question: do you have a ministry in the church? Could you take a step in 2019 which will see you become more active in this local ministry? What would that step look like?

Tuesday…At a church I once preached at as an interim minister, I had a man introduce himself to me and tell me that he was a Deacon. I asked, “Deacon of what?” and watched as his expression went completely blank. He understood the title; he had no understanding of the function. I wonder how many folks who claim the title, “church member” understand the function/ministry which goes along with that description/title?  James 2:14-22 reminds us of the existence of dead faith…

Wednesday…What do you like to do? What would you like to do in the church? What fulfills you? I made a call on new converts who told me that they liked volleyball. Volleyball! I suggested they start a volleyball league and use the gym in the church for their games. They did so and had a good “volleyball ministry” that reached out into our community. Read the gift list in Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12. You will see yourself and your interests/talents/gifts in those lists and know how you can take a step in Fair Haven Christian Church towards fulfilling your ministry.

Thursday…When I fish the creeks around our house, I avoid stagnant water for all of the obvious reasons. You know this: people can stagnate also. Stagnation occurs when there is a lack of movement. Here is a good resolution for 2019: resolve to take steps to further the cause of Christ! Right here at Fair Haven, there are many ministries which can use you.

Friday…”Move it or lose it” applies to many areas. People who are physically and mentally inactive soon lose mobility and intellect. That aphorism also applies to the spiritual side of life. If the gift(s) we are given by the Holy Spirit when we become Christians are not used in the life of the church, they soon atrophy and go out of existence. See John 9:4.

By Dale Holzbauer