Pastor's Note | Monday, August 12th
I just came from a meeting with a representative of a community advertising organization. As we began our meeting she shared an observation about Good Shepherd. Her comment was "As I have contacted many businesses in the community (part of her job) I often hear people commenting about your church - how involved you are with the community and the various programs you offer."
It's nice to hear this kind of feedback about our community of faith here at Good Shepherd. It's nice because it indicates that we are recognized, that we do have an impact in our community, and that our witness to the love of Jesus is noticed. Thank you for being part of a church that embodies the person of Jesus in our community.
She also stated that on several occasions she came to our facility to play Bridge. We host a group on our campus that gathers for Bridge, socializes, and enjoys the camaraderie. When I asked if she had ever been in worship with us she indicated that she had not.
It got me thinking: How can we do a better job of inviting people who do come to our campus for Bridge, for the Open Table dinners, for sports activities, for community-sponsored senior information meetings, and the many other things that draw people here?
The answer? Well, we could launch some new program, form a committee, add to the budget, etc. Or, we can all begin to see ourselves as those who extend invitations, who take the responsibility (if I don't do this who will?), and who begin to invite our guests to come to worship, to a class like those Emad Samir is teaching on Thursdays, or to some other gathering at which the focus is on spiritual things.
I have always been impressed by the disciple named Andrew. He was Peter's brother. Andrew began to follow Jesus after having been with John the Baptist. The passage in John 1.40-42 tells us the "first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon (Peter) and tell him, "We have found the Messiah. And he brought him to Jesus."
Can you imagine how things would have been different had Andrew not invited Simon to come and meet Jesus? There would be no disciple named Peter, the Rock, whose confession of Jesus as the Christ described the foundation upon which the Church is built. No Peter? It's hard to imagine. Yes, God would have found the means to plant and grow the Church even without Peter, but it wouldn't be the same.
Maybe you and I can commit ourselves to being like Andrew and extending invitations to our friends and family to come and learn about the one we have come to know - Jesus.
On another note, our first week of the new worship schedule - the Classic Service at 9 and the Modern Service at 10:45am - began well. Our worship attendance was up by 70 over the previous week. This represents a net increase of about 25 people. Thank you all for your flexibility and willingness to make the changes that the new schedule may have imposed on you.