With the early start of school this year, September almost arrives differently than usual. No start of school – summer seems to have ended when school started – things started early. BUT NOT AT CHURCH! September is still our month of ‘BEGINNINGS’ at Summit! So, pay attention! Don’t miss the opportunity to step up and get involved!
I’ve read a lot recently about how church attendance is in decline – and not just in the ‘mainline’ denominations anymore – but churches in general! I read two studies – one had 10 reasons and the other 7 reasons for church decline – but there were some similarities. Some reasons included: greater affluence; more travel; too much inward focus; lower expectations of members; blended and single parent families; online options; self-directed spirituality; valuing attendance over engagement; failure to see a direct benefit; higher focus on kid’s activities; a cultural disappearance of guilt; insufficient emphasis on groups. But both studies included what I believe are the overarching reasons: One said, “CULTURAL CHRISTIANS no longer see the need to attend” and the other, “A MASSIVE CULTURAL SHIFT.” A quote says: “Most folks feel that it is no longer necessary to be in church to be a regarded citizen in the community!” Our cultural shift is happening quickly. One of the other comments was “Change is unkind to the unprepared, so prepare.”
I write all this because it’s important to realize as all things begin in the church – it isn’t like the ‘good old days’. We need to be prepared! It’s even more vital for us to know in a community like Stafford, where transition affects our community (and church) even more so! I was thinking of the number of families who have been very active at Summit but have relocated! We always need to be aware – especially as we return to two worship services; as all of our choirs resume; as Sunday School starts; as our children’s and youth ministries resume; as events start – because we are doing our best to make sure people connect with Jesus.
September is also the month we begin to look ahead to 2020. As we reflect on Peter’s words in the Bible – LET US ADD – LET US DO OUR BEST! To your faith ADD goodness! To your goodness ADD knowledge! To your knowledge ADD self-control! To your self-control ADD patience! To your patience ADD Service For God! We are a family – and each of us is an important part of the family! Where are you in the family of God?
Step up this year! Get involved! Try something new! You see – when you ADD things to your relationship with Jesus – well – you can’t help yourself but to be connected THE BEST YOU CAN to the Lord’s church called Summit! See you in church!
In Jesus’ Love – Pastor Dan