My great friend Janice Lundquist (Jane and I served with her at what was then Golden Plains Teens For Christ – now “TFC Connection in Phillipsburg, KS – for a couple years and still work together every other year or so at camp) wrote a great, sort-of-gentle-kick-in-the-rear article for her ministry alumni letter a couple years ago that many 20/30 somethings (and other ages too, I suppose) need to hear and heed…Here it is:
From my first week in college and every week there-after until my dad passed away, he would ask me every Sunday afternoon…”Did you go to church today?” Honest … for almost 30 years, I never outgrew that question of accountability. I often laughed when he asked, and sometimes, I’d listen to him sputter as I’d teasingly say “no” just for the fun of it! But the truth was, I knew I was going to have to answer that question – and I knew what I needed to do each week so I could give the answer he longed to hear! You see my dad loved the Church. He loved the church because Christ loves the church, and he wanted me doing the things that Jesus loved! I thankfully grew up knowing (and believing) it was “the Lord’s day” and not my day – and that community worship with the body of Christ, really left no other option!
So what does this bit of my personal life trivia have to do with you? Well, I want to ask you…”Did you go to church this week?” Oh – I know the church is broken, hypocrites go there, and maybe you get nothing out of it! But hmmm… we are talking about the bride of Christ here, maybe we should rethink that! Maybe the church is broken – because we aren’t there doing anything to help it. Maybe it’s missing a hypocrite or two (eeek!) Maybe – just maybe we go thinking, I’m going to “get ” something from worship – not “give” my worship! If you’re missing church – and not involved in Bible-believing, preaching & worship, I can almost hear Ken say, with the same kind of sadness I feel, “We didn’t train them this way … where are our disciple makers in the church?”
So BOOM .. there you go! That’s what I’m thinking! And it’s because we love Jesus and we love the church. And we love you and want you loving the things that Jesus loves! So here’s the challenge… BE IN CHURCH NEXT SUNDAY! You need the church – and the church needs you. And by the way – if you have children – and you aren’t taking them to church…well shame on you – that’s all I have to say about that! Those kiddos need to be around more than just your spiritual impact! Fall is a great time to “start again” – so if you are flaky going to church – or you just need a restart – do it! If you’re a college student – make this a part of your life now. And we know many of you never had a “home church” in your past… now is a great time to find one! Your life and your faith will be different if you are there!
So please don’t think I’m bugging into your business and please don’t unsubscribe from this email list (because I will know who you are!) 🙂. It’s really just a heart thing, only spoken in love to you who might need a kick in the pants! 🙂 We’ll love you no matter what – you know that! So go ahead, ask Jesus to give you that heart that longs to love the things He loves … starting with His Bride – the church! (And if you’re a parent of a college student — go ahead ask those kiddos if they went to church EVERY Sunday…they will never forget it!)