24 March 2021
Good day Yorkshire!
It’s the week before Holy Week and the church has been abuzz in preparation and planning. As I commented during worship last week, it’s hard to get anything done around here!
I was reflecting on these things a bit this morning. My initial thought was, I’m glad this isn’t every week that we have all of these services and events. I mean, after all, next week we will have Women’s Bible Study on Monday night, Men’s Bible Study Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening, Maundy Thursday Fellowship Celebration on Thursday night, Good Friday Tenebrae Service on Friday Night, and then 3 services on Sunday with the first one happening at 6:40AM. (who’s idea was that?!!).
I’ll bet if y’all are honest, you would be acknowledging that this is certainly a lot of services for the church. My human weakness feels the same way (yes, this is a confession). I, in my cynical way, reasoned that these thoughts come as a result of the fact that all of these services will preclude me from doing something else that I might want to do. Instead of walking the dog each evening, I will be here at the church. Instead of sitting around a fire with some of my friends, I will be at the church. Instead of sleeping in a bit on Wednesday and Sunday morning, I’ll be, you’ve got it, at the church. And my initial thought is, wow, it will be great when the week is over.
But, if we really think about it, what better place is there to be than in the company of our Christian brothers and sisters, offering our praise to God through our fellowship, sharing Communion, and studying God’s Word? Isn’t it interesting that a week of additional times together can even be considered competition to some of the menial things we would do otherwise? Where am I going with these thoughts? Nowhere. But I find it interesting that my mind has an initial, not so positive, response to spending time in fellowship worshipping God 3 to 5 times per week- yet I know I will love very minute of it!
Now, many of you will not be at all of the services that Megan and I will be this week, and that is certainly fine. But what I will challenge you to do is to spend some time in the Bible Study/Devotional that was sent to you for this specific week we call Holy Week. Each day will take a lot less time than packing up and coming to church, but I believe you will find your time in devotions very valuable. The Devotional begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. If you choose to do both the Bible Study and come to all of the services next week, that would be an extra bonus and you may even earn a Gold Star!
In other news from the ‘shire this week, we held our first Administrative Council 2021 meeting on Monday evening. Each department (team) was represented and our focus was on some new ways that we will be meeting and organizing ourselves to add efficiency to our efforts and improve our
productivity on behalf of you, the church. We emphasized that our role in leadership is to serve the church and that we represent all of the voices who are a part of our fellowship. We also focused on the importance of teamwork. So often, churches see the roles included on the Ad Council as year-to-year commitments with the responsibility to attend monthly meetings as needed. But I see a different role for those who have answered the call to church leadership. And that role is to lead. Each person on the Ad Council has a responsibility to the body of the church, from Trustees to Education, Finance to Staff Parish, and Missions to Worship. I have often felt that how the leadership team of an entity works together, is how that entity will work together. If a church wants to flourish in its fellowship and love of one another, then the leadership of that church must do the same thing. I have a strong conviction that the health of a church will be directly proportional to the health of the leadership of that church. And the church’s ability to serve those in its community will also be directly related to the leadership’s demonstration of service to the church. This is a summary of a good part of what our discussions represented on Monday night. As we met on Monday, I felt very confident that Yorkshire’s leadership team will meet these criteria. We have an incredible team of folks on our Council and I am so blessed to be a part of it! So, you can look for great things ahead- and remember, please communicate with us!
I often have discussions with folks where we talk about our desire for the church to grow. “We need to get young families in here,” “we need to have more youth…,” “we need to have more musicians,” “more teachers,” etc., etc., etc. I agree with all of these thoughts. I have had these same discussions in each church that I have served. There was a sister church of my first appointment that was bursting at the seams with young families and many, many children. The facility was tiny. There were no bands, no grandiose youth rooms- just an old white structure sitting in the small community of Springvale- and lots of families. In a discussion with the late Tom Osenbach (pastor), I asked him how he was able to have that church grow in the way that it was growing. I wanted the secret (I was even willing to pay for it!)
His answer was simple. They were floundering in attendance. One new family began to attend- just stopped in one Sunday. They had four children. They invited their friends to church. One of those friend’s families invited some of their friends, and within a few months, they went from one family/four children to over fourteen families and about forty children. There were no campaigns, no mailings, banners, yard signs or any change in their worship patterns, music or structure. But there was fellowship. The motivation for those that came was the fellowship of the body, the interaction with friends and family-joining together to bring collective and corporate praise to God. Even the size and age of the facility did not keep them from attending. I would not have believed this if it were not true.
So, if you know of someone who may be looking for a place to worship during Holy Week next week, let them know that our doors are open and that they are welcome at Yorkshire. Maybe share the Bible Study with them for a way to connect with God in a new way. But, without a doubt, the best way to share our Yorkshire fellowship and worship with others, is to invite them.
Be blessed and have a great day! -pastor dave.