The summer has flown by, and it is already that time of year where we get back into the swing of the “school” year. Beginning with the topic of school, Sunday school begins again Sunday, September 8. We will finish up our study from the spring through the rest of the month, but starting in October, we will be offering even more. Sunday, October 6 will kick off our new programming, which will include: a Bible-study based class, a discussion-based class, and a month-long new members class for both those seeking to join the church, as well as those who have joined in the last year or so. More details will follow regarding all three- please ask if you have any questions, and keep posted in your worship bulletins and email updates for more information. If you have considered attending Sunday school, but have not felt comfortable coming, try not to think of it so much as school, but as a way to shore up and build your spiritual foundation. Often we think that attending Sunday morning worship does this, and do not get me wrong, in many ways it does and can. But worship does not allow time for discussion and questions. Even if you feel as though you “know” everything you need to know, think again- I spent three years studying Bible and theology in seminary, and I am still learning. Think of any field of study or career- you were probably required to either learn new things on the job or even take continuing education and training courses along the way. When learning and growing in your faith (no matter what your age!) it requires more than worship can provide!
Speaking of worship, September also brings us to a very exciting event- “National Back to Church Sunday”. It is a movement across the United States that seeks to welcome back those who have been missing from church, as well as those who maybe never felt comfortable gracing the doors of a church. Last year, I challenged everyone to invite a friend, family member, or anyone else to join them for worship. Once again, I’ll raise the same challenge, plus a bit more. Last year, we were just a few people shy of 100 in worship that morning- maybe this time around we can exceed that! But second, and more importantly, I challenge you not to nag, but to build a relationship with someone that you know has not been recently connected to a Christian worshiping community. Back in May, I preached on mission being about relationships, with the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch as the background (See Acts 8:26-40. Seriously, put down this article and don’t finish beyond this sentence until you read it!)
Our mission is to baptize and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Inviting someone to church, whether it is back to church Sunday or not, to Sunday school, or for a cup of coffee and a friendly chat are all ways we begin the relationship of evangelism. Try and think of those in your life who have influenced your faith and imagine where you might be if it was not for them. It is then that you may begin to realize the urgency of our call to spread the good news and welcome ALL into the family that worships His name.