Friday, June 20, 2014

It's Not What You're Not...

From Pastor Dennis, another Pastor in the Payson, IL area...

"Payson Congregational United Church of Christ
Mid Week Good News
Thursday 19 June 2014
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Payson Congregational Church is such a remarkable place, filled with gifted, caring, faith-filled people.  Yet I am struck by the fact that we often take for granted what we have and fail to celebrate the ways God has blessed us and gifted us as a family of faith.  It is often the testimony of visitors that they are confused by the lack of people here for Sunday worship.  Many times I have been told, “I just can’t understand why Payson church isn’t filled to overflowing”

One of the negative fall outs of the “mega church movement” is it has helped create a defeated attitude among churches whose membership has declined.  Too often committee meetings are filled with comments like, “we can’t do the things they do” and “we will never be able to compete with them.’ 

God called us to BE THE CHURCH not to be in competition with the church.  We have inspiring worship with engaging messages, heartfelt music and authentic fellowship.  Why are there children and adults in our community that have never been to Sunday school and church? Why are we so timid about inviting others to experience the joy of serving Jesus in this pace?

It is not attendance that is holding us back.  It is not a deficit that is holding us back, it is what we think we are not, it is what we think we are not, that keeps us struggling to hold everything in place.  IT IS NOT WHO YOU ARE THAT IS HOLDING YOU BACK, IT IS WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE NOT!  In so many ways that quote summarizes our church.  We are not a mega church – SO WHAT?  We are not filled with the rich and influential people of Adams County, Illinois – SO WHAT? We are faithful women, men, and children who have found purpose, community and God’s love together.  In a world starved for community, that is something pretty special.  One difficulty may be that they don’t know we are here.  Let’s get them in the door, build relationships with them, share with them Jesus in our hearts,  and see them grow and mature as Christians.  Let’s stop worrying about what we are not and focus on what we are – God’s people loving and serving together.  That is a message the world needs us to share. 

Pastor Dennis"

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