A letter to our congregation

This past Sunday I mentioned that checking off a weekly visit to church was not “keeping the covenant of God.”  Now, I want to clarify that just a little bit.

God indeed loves his people unconditionally, but reflect back on Jesus’ words “If you love me you will obey.”  We are told elsewhere that love always perseveres.  Love from Christ should come to us and flow back as love TO Christ.  What does this look like?  It looks like loving Christ by knowing him better, by living out your faith daily in the world, by serving and loving his people as well as we can.

Brothers and sisters, we cannot accomplish these things in an hour a week.  Knowing this, the consistory has agreed that it is wise to challenge our entire church community to consider giving a minimum of three hours a week to our church.

Our annual homecoming is September 13th.  This is when we welcome back all of us who have enjoyed our hard earned summer vacations and our understandably sporadic church attendance.  This is when we return to normal routines of school and work and dare I say it, shoveling snow.  In order to accommodate more people wishing to attend church, we will return to two services on September 20th.

I know there are some among you who prefer one service.  You wish to be here and worship with the entire community at BCC.  I appreciate and understand that, but in that case I want you to consider staying throughout the entire morning.

We will begin the fall with a sermon series on the covenant of God.  We will explore together what God’s covenant with us is and how that actually changes us as individuals and as a community.

During the first service at 9:15 we will dismiss children from the service up through kindergarten right before the sermon.  First graders and up will participate in the service.

The second service will look a little different.  Children’s and adult classes will be available from 11-12.  Because of this, there will be no children’s dismissal from the 11 o’clock service.  Parents are welcome to attend this service and send their kids to classes during this time.  What I would encourage you to consider is coming to the 9:15 service with your children and then staying for a small group or serving in another ministry area while letting your kids go to their classes.

This is only one option.  I am aware that sometimes it is harder to get here early and sit through church with your children.  That’s why we also have the Wednesday night option.   On Wednesday nights we will go deeper into a discussion from the sermon series from 6-730.  There are kids programs for all ages at this time so all adults not serving on Wednesday nights are able to participate.

My intention in leading and encouraging you to do this is certainly not to create shame if you feel as though you haven’t.  I don’t want anyone to feel like they are “not good enough.”  God knows perfectly well that none of us are good enough, and we never will be, this is the whole point of the cross.  My only hope is to see you grow in your faith, becoming a greater disciple of Christ.

I have heard some people say that they think I simply want BCC to grow numerically.  That’s actually not the case at all.  What I want is for us to be so mature in our personal and corporate faith that more people see that and want to be a part of it.  When a group of humble people come to the point in their Christian lives that all they want is more of Jesus, Jesus is eager to answer that longing in their lives.  I want to see Jesus working in us and through us in a powerful way.  I don’t want statistics, I don’t want money, I don’t want smoke and mirrors.  I want to see a movement of God occurring in the hearts and lives of his people right here at BCC.

I want you to become so excited about what God is actually doing here that you are overflowing with new life and excitement and power.

Again, my only goal in this is your personal discipleship (and my own).  I am praying that God will grow us more into the image of Christ and a community that is shaped by the gospel.  I am praying that we will become radically committed followers of Jesus and that he will work in us and through us.

This could be a great year of watching Jesus work at BCC.

Are you in?