Rusty Writes (08-27-2014)

Many scholars believe that one of the reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire was that there were no longer any challenges for them. They had conquered most of the world and were now resting on their laurels, reaping the benefits of their greatness. And after a while, they became complacent and their once great society fell. That same thing can happen in the church. Sometimes, we may think that we have done enough to build our spiritual lives and we stop seeking challenges. We, too, become complacent. We think we know enough so we stop going to Sunday school and see no need for Bible study. We think we have given enough of our time, talent and money to God’s glory, so we stop giving and serving. And, if enough people in the church begin to shy away from challenges, the church ceases to grow in faith. In fact, if enough people stop challenging themselves to grow, the church ceases to be the church, and then it is doomed to go the way of the Roman Empire. Sadly, that has been the case with many churches. Over time, their fire for service, their thirst for knowledge and their desire to reach out to others diminishes and they become content to rest on their laurels, thinking that others will take up the slack. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, and the church becomes more of a country club than the actual body of Christ.

We must ensure that something like this doesn’t happen here at FCC. As a church, we must remain vigilant to our calling and always challenge ourselves, and one another, to do more, to learn more, to find our passion and pursue it all for the glory of God. That’s why that slide saying “What can you do?” was part of the announcements this past Sunday morning. It was there in the hope that it might encourage some reflection on the part of the members of the congregation as to what each of us can do to grow in faith and service. In that same spirit, I issue this challenge – if you want FCC to be that shining example of what church should be, then do what you can to show others that this church has a burning desire to learn more about God and Christ Jesus. Grab your Bibles and join us for Bible study on Tuesday evenings. Join a Sunday school class or, if you can’t find one that suits you, start another one. If you want FCC to be that shining example of what church should be, then show others that this church has a passion for service by joining us at St. Mark’s to help pack meals for the hungry. Show others that this church is enthusiastic about celebrating, through worship, God’s grace and constant presence in our lives by inviting a friend to church. Show others that you willing to give as you have received by remaining faithful to your pledge and maybe giving or serving just a little bit more. I know I’ve only been here for a relatively short time, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that we have a wonderful congregation of loving and faithful people here at FCC and, even though this church has a long distinguished history, I believe we have yet to achieve our potential…and maybe we never will. But, the joy is in the journey and, with God’s help, each day we inch a little closer to that goal.  Shalom & Blessings, Rusty