Good Folks, it is Friday, March 13, 2020. There are 30 days until Easter Day. And only 297 days until Christmas. FYI.
I came across an article about some of John Wesley’s practices that can change hearts for today. The author notes these particular points:
- Be devoted to prayer
- Go where people are
- Speak plain truth
- Use the music of the culture
- Place everyone in a small group for spiritual growth
- Give ministry to the Laity
- Use mass communication to get the word out
I could write about all seven points in Roger Ross’ article, but I won’t at this time. I have noted the link for you to read his full article. I will share thoughts about number five.
When I first arrived almost seven (7), yes-seven years ago and met with 17 different groups in various homes and locations to get a feel of where the church leadership currently see themselves, I asked two questions: How did you arrive at being part of this church?, What has kept you in this church?
The answers varied on how folks came to become members. I would say by-in-large, most of the folks were personal invited by someone (hint-hint-hint). Other just showed up because they were looking for a Methodist Church. Some were “cold called” by the pastor when they were moving into the community.
What was a constant and common answer to my second question was that 99.99% were actively part of a small group. An occasional answer would be “the pastor and his/her sermons have kept me here.”
What is the main point? Wesley knew that if folks became involved in small group study, which always has a fellowship component, accountability and spiritual growth always happens. Small groups enable growth in Bible study, personal growth, and friendships. When folks are actively part of a small on-going-study group, they remain involved in the church. That being said, there are several who will rarely miss these group moments but will not place the same emphasis on attending worship.
The church struggles today to get folks to realize that attending regular worship is part of our spiritual growth as Christians. Now that we have two worship services (Sunday – 10:30 AM and Wednesday Chapel – 5 PM), all are unique for folks looking for a particular style and flavor of worship.
It is easy to find some reason to no longer attend worship and small group study on a regular basis. Commitment tends to be, at times, on a convenient basis. Time becomes the most precious commodity that the church works at as part of a family’s life. We are not always successful.
You are welcomed to worship, study and be part of a community of faith. This Sunday continues the Lenten Theme: A New Journey.
Blessings from Duncanville,
Pastor Frank (firstname.lastname@example.org)