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Part Time or Full Time Christian?

October 1, 2016 Leave a comment

I must confess I’ve hesitated to write this month’s Banner article. Not consciously, mind you, just trying to think of something to write about other than what’s at the top of my mind. However, I need to share a burden I have for our beloved church. Over the last three years we have had a small but steady increase in attendance and this has been a blessing to me. As we near the end of 2016, we are faced with a real challenge. You see, I get so many comments from past and present members about how wonderful our church is, how the fellowship is special and real. We have folks show up regularly who haven’t been around that drop in to worship. That’s the problem.

Many of the members on our roster are only seen occasionally. Some drop by 5-6 times a year and are please, they say, to be here. My question is where are they the other 30-40 Sundays? Any church survives by the commitment of its members expressed not only in their regular attendance but in their giving and their participation. Even the most spiritually rich church cannot afford to have a large number of ‘part time’ Christians. We have been studying the Book of Revelation over the last few weeks and this passage just haunts me; Revelation 3:14-18 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

What’s frightening about this statement is that a lot of people in this world who call themselves Christians are lukewarm. They fall into the category of part time Christian. They might go to church on Sundays, tithe every time we go. But the real question is, have they given ourselves completely to God? What about us? Are we a part time or full time Christian? A part time Christian picks and chooses what they will or will not do for God. They’ll get to church most Sunday ‘s they can but won’t be on time. They’ll be on time, but don’t tithe in any regular way. They’ll go to Sunday School, but not Worship service. They’ll go to Worship service but not Beacon Light. Part time Christians are only willing to do it part of the way. But Isaiah 29:13 states: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain.” When we simply honor God with our words, but our actions say we really don’t, He is not pleased. We don’t have the option of picking and choosing when our walk is with God. We don’t have the option of serving God today and not serving Him tomorrow.

We are coming to a time when a number of our regular, full-time, dedicated members are moving on to other parts of the country. This is a good thing for them because as we get older, moving closer to family is right and appropriate. May God bless those whose plans will take them away from us. What that means, however, is that if his little church is to survive, we must now get all our part-time members to become full time members in order to stand in the gap of those who are leaving. In addition, the outreach to the community needs to become more active, and we need to bring in more new people. No church can stand against the normal attrition of age and health issues. We must rededicate ourselves to growing the church. It starts with each one of us. We should be full time, because God is full time to us. He loves us full time. He cares for us full time. He provides for us full time. He gave us full time help when He empowered us with the Holy Spirit. So why would we want to be anything but full time.

Loving you all,

Pastor Rich

 

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