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             ImageThere’s no doubt in my mind that I might receive a little flak for this post, however my goal is always to be as honest as I can when it comes to my Christian faith and share what’s truly on my mind.  Bear in mind…I’m human (at least the last time I checked), so I can have some pretty human feelings about certain things.  A friend made a comment to me this week while I was attending a board meeting for the Alms House in Hope Mills.  Pastor David Mitchell Sr. of St. Jude Missionary Baptist Church made an interesting comparison that really made me think and inspired this blog.   He said…”If churches aren’t active in outreach or missions then they’re nothing more than a Country Club.”  His premise being, that if the church is only participating in events that benefit those inside the church walls, then they’re not following the direction of Christ.  Now…it’s a proven fact that 9 out of 10 churches are declining in membership as of 2013.  Attendees are showing up one Sunday and not returning for one reason or another.  It’s my belief that the cause is most likely that churches have drifted away from the real meaning of what it means to be part of the Body of Christ.  Hopefully I will be able to encourage some churches to see that reaching out via missions and outreach programs is a biblical principal and one that Jesus expected of us as believers.  

            His intention for us was to be active and functioning in the best possible way to enhance the Body of Christ.  I believe this is best done by reaching out to the less fortunate, those who need the Gospel, and to a lost and hurting world.  I once read (sorry, can’t remember where or I would give credit due), that many church members eventually leave their church because they feel they aren’t getting what they want (need) or that they are entitled to certain things that they aren’t receiving.  They feel that, since they pay tithes, they should have a say in how things are done.  Some feel their tithes are “dues” and they should be getting something in return.   Sound familiar?  This should not be our first and foremost thought when attending church or tithing.  True…new believers come to learn and be fed.  However, once you’ve accepted Christ you have chosen to lead your life in a Christlike manner…we need to do just that! 

            Pay attention here folks….we are supposed to get out of the proverbial four walls of our church and share the Gospel!!!  Helping people, giving to people, loving people, and most of all helping them find their way to Christ.  You can’t do that by simply going to church on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights and listening to a preacher.  You have to be willing to serve others as well.  You can’t forget that along with your faith there are also works and without works your faith is dead.  Let me remind you of a few verses from James 2:14-17

14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

 

           What we all need to do is step outside our comfort zones on occasion.  I often tell people the most uncomfortable situation might reap the greatest reward when it comes to sharing the Gospel.  We must realize that what we are doing is what God expects.  We must follow Jesus’ example and do what’s best for the Body of Christ.  

Even if you’re not a member of a country club I can guarantee that most of us know exactly what a country club is and how it works.  It’s where one pays dues to be a member of a particular group of people and have access to the amenities offered at the facility.  Now…before you start bashing me…I am not suggesting that country clubs are a bad thing.  The people who can afford to be members of country clubs work hard for their money and are entitled to spend it how they see fit.   We just need to remember that, as the Body of Christ, our first and foremost initiative is to spread the Gospel…everything else is secondary.  I pray that today you will become more committed to your local church and that through faith your works will produce a bountiful harvest for the Kingdom of God.    Now  “TEE UP” and jump out of your comfort zone and reach out to a lost and hurting world by sharing the Gospel.

Be blessed and always be a blessing

Pastor Mike

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