Summer is not an easy time to be in local church ministry. There is a great tension that those who work and serve in a local church feel. And to be honest, it is a confusing tension and one that makes me feel guilty. Please note that I am not asking anyone to feel bad for me or anyone else who serves in a church. There are plenty of reasons I love my job, but that said, every summer I get discouraged. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand why this is. In the summer, the people scatter, and they scatter because the kids are out of school and there are lots of opportunities to get away for vacation and trips. They scatter because lots of weddings and family events happen. They scatter because sports takes them away for tournaments. They scatter because the routine is gone and church attendance often is connected to the routine. They scatter because there are fish to be caught and bodies of water to be skied or kayaked. They scatter because it is nice out and there are trails to be hiked or barbecues to be enjoyed. You get the point, they scatter.
Now there is something I love about the scattering – it gives God’s people, Christians, a chance to interact with many that they would not otherwise interact with around a bonfire, on boat or at a beach. And that is awesome. But here is the thing: many that scatter stay scattered. They just don’t come back. The pattern of church life gets broken and it gets hard to put back together.
Let me plead with you. Get back. Go back please. Let it begin this weekend. Summer is wrapping up shortly. For whatever has taken you from church, take this week and get back. Whether it has been something that results from the summer, like travel and time away, or something that has nothing to do with summer like a church disappointment or personal funk, just go back! And maybe you read this and you don’t normally go to church. Let me encourage you to go.
At Grace Fellowship this weekend, we are starting a new sermon series. It is a series around something we all can relate to. It is around our emotions. I am trusting it will be valuable for all of us to think through this stuff no matter what we believe. So either for the first time or for the 100th time, come join us this weekend. Break the drift or the distance you have with church.