Monday, April 20, 2015
My church seats close to a thousand three times on Sunday, with the evening service and the eleven a.m. not necessarily the same crowd, but both probably a few more than the early morning congregation. My wife and I “left” it twice, the first time for five years to help plant an inner city outreach in Cincinnati, the second occasion for about a decade and for no other reason than this old man needed “space”. Birthed in a tent meeting, moved to a chicken coop, then a barn before Beth’s parents were part of that bunch who built that original small facility that housed us back in ’72 when I started taking my kids there for Sunday school, it is a part of her “history” and my “roots”. At no time in either separation was it completely abandoned. While anymore we number more than my ability to contain everyone’s identity, some are part of those who have known me from the beginning and, among the rest, are a significant few whose contribution to the package as a whole gives me witness enough to retain their names. At one time this was “family”, not so much in the truth that many within the sanctuary were indeed related to one another, more so in the sense that the seventy some people usually present were bound together not just in Christ, but in the work, itself. Now we are “mass” and broken into our individual commitment to the whole. There is a widow who wears a new hat each time she comes, who sits in front and rises to greet visitors with a pre-assembled welcome packet when directed. There is another woman, small in stature, whose perpetual smile helps finds seating for late arrivals. We have people who operate cameras for the broadcast, regulate sound and computer screens, not to mention a vast multitude of singers and musicians; and all this merely constitutes worship. Multiple ministries, directed toward both outreach and within our own ranks, are available for any who feel led to volunteer. Still, the pastor’s son, in his father’s absence yesterday, pleaded for more members to tithe, since our own eighteen percent is but six points higher than the national twelve percent. The wallet, it seems to me, is attached to the heart. Just sayin……..
Posted by Jim at 9:10 AM