Sunday’s coming! Lots of the individuals studying these phrases already know they’ll be going to church on Sunday—it’s their behavior, it’s their sample, it’s their pleasure, and nothing in need of sickness or pure catastrophe will maintain them again. Just a few of the individuals studying these phrases already know they received’t be going to church this Sunday. There are some very legitimate causes to not attend church on a given week, and we perceive that God’s love for us doesn’t waver after we’re sick or on the highway or in any other case unable.
There are lots of people between these two classes—individuals who plan to go to church on Sunday, however received’t truly get there. As they learn these phrases, they’ve each intention of going. When the weekend begins, they’ll be trying ahead to it. By Saturday night they are going to nonetheless intend to go. If you happen to name them they’ll say, with all truthfully, they plan to be there. However they received’t have performed a lot to arrange for it—to cease their tiring and distracting actions, to remind the household to ensure they’ve obtained one thing to put on, to get to mattress at an inexpensive hour, to set an alarm. By the point Sunday morning rolls round and the service begins, they are going to be nowhere to be seen.
It’s these individuals I wish to converse to—the many individuals who genuinely intend to get to church every week, however who fail to indicate. To you, I wish to converse of the outsized worth of the ministry of presence. The ministry of presence is the ministry of being there—of merely gathering with the church on Sunday. This will look like just a little factor, however it issues. It issues lots. It’s genuinely a ministry. It’s genuinely a way of serving different Christians.
Grace Fellowship Church not too long ago had the privilege of stepping in to assist a close-by church that had diminished in attendance and was unsure the way it might maintain going. Membership had shrunk by the years and, although they owned a constructing in an important neighborhood, they’d solely a handful of individuals in it on Sunday mornings. We had been in a position to ship them one in all our pastors and about 40 of our individuals. In a single day this church went from shrinking to rising, from a church with a previous to a church with a future. It was a pleasure—a tragic and tough pleasure—for our church to play a task on this.
Among the many individuals who went to deliver new life to this church had been a number of who had been recognized amongst us for his or her ministry of presence. Many of those individuals by no means led from the entrance of the room and by no means headed key ministries within the church. I don’t assume they ever needed to. They made a unique, however no much less essential contribution to the church. They had been there—all the time there. On Sunday mornings they arrived early and stayed late, welcoming, speaking, and assembly others. They returned on Sunday evenings to worship, to hope, to fellowship. Wednesday nights they confirmed up whether or not the schedule included Bible research, males’s or girls’s fellowships, or prayer conferences. They believed within the church.
I don’t imply they believed within the church as a company or establishment and had been blindly following the calls for of the pastors. Somewhat, they believed within the church as a fellowship of valuable brothers and sisters within the Lord, and had been dedicated to serving it. They knew they might solely serve the church in the event that they had been with the church, in the event that they had been current when the church gathered. They knew they might solely perform all these “one another” instructions in the event that they had been with the others. And they also had been.
I’m satisfied each church wants extra of those individuals—extra individuals who see their presence as an important contribution to their church. The native church doesn’t want individuals of outsized skills or uncommon skills as a lot because it wants regular individuals with full-out dedication. Your church and my church can thrive solely when there’s a devoted core who make it their mission to be there, to make their most important ministry the ministry of presence.