During our last deacons’ meeting, I brought to our deacons’ attention that the summer months are around the corner. Before long, school will be out, days will be warm, and vacation season will be upon us. I asked our deacons to be especially sensitive concerning how much First Baptist church they miss during the summer months. I made them aware that I begrudge no one time away, especially during the warm weather months. I then requested: 1) they resist the temptation to skip church on a Sunday when they are in town, and 2) when they hear a voice saying that they have missed too much First Baptist church, they might be obedient to that voice. I do not know the magic number as to what constitutes too much missed church. Each person must decide that for himself or herself.
I would like to direct the same request to the rest of our church community. With the summer months almost upon us, please be sensitive as to how much First Baptist church you miss. And when you sense that you have missed too much, please make the necessary adjustments.
I make this request for a couple of reasons. First, someone observed recently that our church has good energy. I agree! While it is true that there is much more to a meaningful worship experience than large numbers, it is also true that strong worship participation engenders a natural and good energy among people. Thus far this year we are averaging 165 people in Sunday morning worship. This is quite good. I’ve noticed that when we hit the 160 and above mark, our sanctuary has a cozy full feel to it. And when our sanctuary achieves this cozy full feel, there is an extra dose of good energy!
Second, we have a nice handful of people visiting with us for Sunday worship. In fact, I know of two people who plan to join our church on Pentecost Sunday – May 20. I am hopeful that this handful of visitors will grow into two handfuls. Have you ever pulled up to a restaurant and immediately noticed a parking lot mostly empty? It makes you wonder about the quality of the food, doesn’t it? For the sake of a good first impression, I am hopeful that our numbers do not dip too low this summer.
During my fourteen months of service to and with First Baptist, I have noticed that our church still has a lot of people that walk through our doors. In fact, I am not persuaded that we are that significantly smaller than we were when Oscar Creech concluded his pastorate in 1951. It is just that there is much more competition on Sundays in 2018 than there was in 1951. And, therefore, people attend church less than they did in the 1950s.
I am so pleased that our church has such good energy and momentum. I will be especially pleased if the good energy and momentum can continue through the summer months. Do enjoy your vacations, visits with family, and the like. However, you may feel a tug that says, “I really need to be with my church family in worship this week.” When you do, will you follow through and take your place in our beautiful sanctuary for the worship of God?