The end of the school year is just around the corner. Teachers and students alike are looking forward to hearing the last school bell of the final day.
It’s funny how the seasons of the church often revolve around the school year, but there are a number of reasons for that. We long to minister to families, and we know that we can best do so by building our calendar to accommodate their needs.
Our church will be typical of many. We will start summer with vacation Bible school. Then will come camps for different ages. We will celebrate the Fourth of July with a picnic and concert by the 3rd Infantry Division Band from Fort Stewart. And before you know it, another school year will be started.
Can I offer you some encouragement today? I recently read a book entitled, “I am a Church Member.” In this short book, Dr. Thom Rainer reminds us that we who are members of churches have responsibilities and obligations to the churches where we hold our membership.
Too often today, we look for the church to meet our needs. In fact, we often approach church membership as we would a country-club membership. We join expecting to get services and, perhaps, even products, never thinking of being servants ourselves.
But even if I do not know you personally, and even if I do not know your pastor or the church you attend, I know this about your church: It needs people like you to step up and serve. In fact, it needs you to find a place where you can serve God and others with the gifts you have. There are no exceptions to this rule. Every church needs members to take seriously their calling to serve others.
The church is one of the only — if not the only — institutions in the world that exists for the benefit of those who are not members. We exist to serve the Lord by serving others. Too many times, we turn inward in our thinking. I just don’t think God is pleased with that attitude. Jesus said, “The Son of Man came to serve…” And he said, “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” He is reminding us of how he lived and then telling us that we are to imitate his behavior.
I’m confident your church will be open for business Sunday. But I also am confident of this: If you will attend church ready to serve, and if you will offer to your pastor and fellow church members that service, it will not be business as usual. Rather, you and your church family will be better prepared to change the world. And that is the calling of the church.
Will you accept the challenge?