Thursday, 08 July 2021 10:24
Meeting at ChristiansWritten by Jeron Parkins
It seems generally among most churches that attendance numbers have been lower than pre-Covid numbers. There are a lot of obvious reasons for this (some Christians are still concerned about group settings being dangerous, some are making up for all the travel they missed last year, some have gotten into new habits or gotten out of the habit of going to church meetings, some are watching online, etc.). I of course like to see lots of people attend our worship services! We all like it when a lot of people are singing wholeheartedly to Jesus. Personally, I always preach more effectively and more passionately to a full house (likely for the same reasons that athletes perform better when the building or stadium is full); it’s hard to preach when there are few people and their energy levels are low.
But of course church attendance is not the end goal or measure of success - Jesus isn't dancing for joy just because a lot of people gather on a Sunday morning. Having lots of people attending a meeting isn’t what we exist for as a church! Jesus’ greatest goal for us is that we would love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Churches, biblically-based churches, exist to see people turn to the Lord in faith and then live for him in all areas of life - we exist to make disciples (students, followers, apprentices) of Jesus who live like Jesus would at school or work or in the home. So again, the goal of Christianity is not to get everyone into a meeting! The goal is to see Christians love God and love others – when we are living in love (praying for people, helping people, saying good things to people, etc.) we are fulfilling God’s law, we are in right-relationship with him and others. This is worship! More than words of a song! Our life becomes an act of worship! Our life is a song or a prayer of worship unto God!
But what of the worship service? I think that Christians are confused about its importance. "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:23-25). Meetings of the church sometimes don't fit the consumerism of our society or the demands of modern work life and it can be difficult to attend. But Christians were never meant to be alone in their faith so finding ways to meet and live life together are essential to our faith. Jesus has made us his people and God means for us to be together in our discipleship to him. We can't of course be together all the time with dozens of other people (Let alone hundreds of other people) but we are exhorted and commanded to make a regular meeting with real followers of Jesus a part of our life. Now, this doesn't have to be a massive gathering of all the Christians at "big church," but if we are to obey God's good command it will mean being together regularly with a known group of fellow disciples who are seeking Jesus. Are you keeping God’s command to stay connected and not give up meeting with other believers?
Look again at the purpose of meeting found in Hebrews 10:23-25 because God has good purposes. He tells us that in a world that isn't focused on God, in a hard, even evil world full of false gods, we need one another to hold onto the hope we have (and others need us). We need a church family to encourage us in our faith (and others need us). We need supportive people around us to keep us on the right path (and they need us). We need a culture that helps us do what is good in God's sight (and they need us). We need one another to live the faith in love! Church meetings, church attendance, are in one way simply a baseline, entry-level commitment to walking with the Lord. They aren’t the be-all and end-all of our faith. Nor are they always “mountaintop experiences” but they do get us into a rhythm of life with a certain group of people. They remind us weekly of the gospel. They remind us weekly that God is at the center. They ground us to reality and they call us to our mission as ambassadors for Jesus. What they should lead to of course are real relationships where people are caring for one another and helping each other follow the Lord. Christian, if you aren’t in the practice of being together with your local church family, at least on a weekly basis, may I encourage you to get back in the committed habit of meeting with your church family? God intends it for your good, for the good of others, and for his glory.
Here’s some of what’s happening in the weeks ahead at Living Water…
We’re meeting at 9:00 or 10:45 for worship.
I’m excited about preaching through Daniel 9 the next two Sundays.
Hey parents, wanted to let you know that Sunday morning children’s ministry is back in session this Sunday through August 8.
PARKING LOT UPDATE
Ok, so the paving company psyched us out the last few weeks – they decided to delay paving because of threats of rain. I’m learning that this Bringing Life Project truly is a work in progress and things are going to get done on God’s timing not mine! The contractors are working hard today, so Lord willing, by this Sunday you should be walking on asphalt if you park in our east and south lot.
BUILDING PROJECT UPDATE
As you may have heard, we had a big snag in our building construction progress the last few months as the company that was in charge of installing our heating and cooling system didn’t have the employees to fulfill their contractual obligations. But the last three weeks we’ve had another crew come in and they’ve made great progress and soon things will be rolling again with the other contractors. We’ll have a better understanding of the estimated completion of the building in the coming weeks. We’re still doing great financially on the project. Please keep praying for the workers safety. We are in our second year of fundraising for the building and if you would like to contribute to the Christian Education and Community building project we’d love to have your help! Please go to https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.bringinglifeproject.org/&source=gmail&ust=1625847532126000&usg=AFQjCNFKb-rKJH1117GuWUZozQxMO6BGMA">https://www.bringinglifeproject.org/ for information on how to give (you can give anonymously if you like).
- JOIN REIGN THIS SUMMER The Youth Group meets Wednesdays from 6:30pm-8:30pm in the Reign building across the street from Sears Hardware Store. Reign is for anyone finishing 5th grade this month through high school. We will begin a new series in June and we will be studying the whole bible in one year! The series is called “Gospel Foundations; A Year Through the Storyline of Scripture.” We will have many activities to participate in this summer so please join us!!
Things are coming together for Camp Week! Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to host our camp counselors. We’re praying for 40 more kids to be able to come to Day Camp at Living Water, July 19-23. REGISTER HERE: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://eaglelakecamps.com/camp/livingwater/&source=gmail&ust=1625847532126000&usg=AFQjCNFGgHQ3fghRE6HqhH6WimV_QlAsUA">https://eaglelakecamps.com/camp/livingwater/ If you know parents or grandparents who might be interested please let them know that there is financial help available. Please watch this short video to learn more about the Refer a Friend Program: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://youtu.be/3KZUwdRjiLc&source=gmail&ust=1625847532126000&usg=AFQjCNHi58JQUA96Oi8h40VB4x2SCt4NTw">https://youtu.be/3KZUwdRjiLc
POPCORN AND A MOVIE, SATURDAY JULY 31
More information to come!
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL AUGUST 9-13, Times are 9:00 A.M. Till Noon
We’re looking forward to a wonderful time for your kids at this end of the summer VBS!
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT AUGUST 5 & 6
We’ve hosted the Global Leadership Summit for several years now. Most of those registering have been from the local businesses or city and county employees. It’s been nice to serve our local community by hosting this uplifting and encouraging leadership conference at Living Water. $99 Price Ends 7/13/21 then goes up to $129 a person. Click on the following link and when prompted insert this code 21SVTEAM https://www.google.com/url?q=https://register.globalleadership.org/%23/reg/trans/one?invtID%3DEV-LSS2108-MAIN-SVA00028%26orgCustomerID%3D704772%26priorityCD%3D21SVTEAM&source=gmail&ust=1625847532126000&usg=AFQjCNHrQtKgCfZwDpLj6GTRfEl_QQThaw">https://register.globalleadership.org/#/reg/trans/one?invtID=EV-LSS2108-MAIN-SVA00028&orgCustomerID=704772&priorityCD=21SVTEAM
Thanks for Reading!