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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why do you attend church?

Why do you attend church?
It is an interesting and challenging question.
I would suggest that there are three legitimate reasons for attending church:
1.  Prayer and praise:  We come to worship God, focus on God, dwell in His presence.
2.  Personal growth:  We come so that we can grow in our spiritual walk and development as a follower of Jesus Christ.
3.  Pass it on.  We take what we have learned and pass it on.
Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 3:4, "We trust the Lord that you are putting into practice the things we taught you."
I was so "proud" (if I could say it that way) of how many of our church family spend the time during City Fest connecting with either:  people they didn't know; or people new to our church.
Wow - good stuff!
We do come to our church campus on West Orland Parkway to worship God; and to grow spiritually.  But just a friendly reminder today that we are also to come and then leave to "pass it on"!
Let me share with you that:
When we receive without giving, we become fat.  We become spiritual porkers.
When we give without receiving, we become faint.
When we receive and then give, we become faithful.
God's calling upon your life is to be faithful!
So, just how can you "pass it on"?
Well, let's use the word "PASS" as an acronym.
P - Prospect.
Look around and ask, who needs what I have learned?  With whom can I share my faith?  Show compassion to?  Minister to?  Invite to church?  Reach out and invite them over for dinner?  I would encourage you to look around each Sunday morning (in the foyer) and pick out someone whom you don't know, introduce yourself and get to know them.
A - Action.
When will I pass it on?  We are all busy.  None of us is exempt from the "busy bug."  Here's what I know - we make time for what it important to us.  We carve out time for ministry - especially to those who are hurting and needy.
S - Share
How are you going to share what you have?  Will you do so in love and with compassion?  Or with judgment and finger-pointing?
S - Show
Will you back up what you say with what you do?  Ask yourself:  Is my life an example of what I am supposed to be passing on?  Do I talk about "people coming to Christ"
Two closing thoughts:
Football season is here - so let me use a football analogy.
Coming to church can be like getting into the huddle of a football game.  We are here to call the plays and get the strategy to go out and do the work of the Lord.
But so many churches just call the huddle, and when they are done, they all go and wait for another huddle.  They don't have a plan (like City Fest), a strategy, a goal.  They just have "holy huddles."
Secondly, I must choose to reach out to those around me by being vulnerable.
If I choose to love the world, I open myself up.
You see, I can either withhold love and compassion and kind of stiff arm (another football analogy!) my way through life or else I can open my arms and let people come in (with is God's will for Stone Church).
I believe that City Fest was just the beginning of how God wants to use our church family.
How about you?
Just a thought for a Tuesday.

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