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Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Gift of the Church

This Sunday my church, Boones Creek Bible Church, will be celebrating its 55th anniversary.  To God be the glory, great things He hath done!  While I was in Nova Scotia last weekend, I learned in a much greater way how very blessed I am to have my church.  I've always loved it and been thankful for it, but I learned that not everyone has a church like mine.

My church has two full-time pastors on its staff.  We own our own building and are completely out of debt.  Our Sunday services begin with Sunday school for ages 2 on up, with a well-staffed nursery for the younger ones.  Following Sunday school, we meet for worship, where a pianist, organist, orchestra and choir will accompany us as we sing, and will also participate in special music.  My pastor/husband will preach in the main auditorium after the little ones are dismissed to children's church where workers will teach them the Word of God on their level of understanding.  After a powerful message from the Word, we will be dismissed for the morning and look forward to returning that night where we'll hear another message from the Word. Tuesday nights offer the opportunity to CARE for others by means of a visit, phone call or card.  Wednesday night we come together for a time of testimonies, songs, and encouragement from the Bible.  The children will work on their lessons in Frontline Clubs and be taught  "how to love and live the Bible."  Some of our men will gather on Thursday night to play basketball in our gymnasium.  This is for fellowship, exercises and evangelism.  Once a month, the ladies meet for Bible study and fellowship.  Often the Sunday school classes meet during the week for fun and fellowship.  If a person took advantage of every service opportunity, in a month's time they could have met at the church at least 20 times to hear the Word and grow!

Many of the ladies that attended the ladies' retreat in Nova Scotia came from very small churches.  There are not enough people to support a pastor full-time.  Sometimes that means a church will go without a pastor for long periods of time, while they're praying for a man that is willing to come.  I heard of one church that closed its doors during the summer months because there would only be 2 or 3 gathering during the vacation season - not enough people to merit them meeting.  These ladies were so hungry for fellowship and the teaching of God's Word.  They are very aware what a treasure these things are and they came with hungry hearts to hear and receive everything they could during those 24 hours together.

Do we really love our church like that, as well as the opportunities we have to meet together?  How easy it is to make excuses and stay home, or to let things that aren't of equal significance to hinder us from meeting in God's house when we need to be there!  Often, good pastors get discouraged because their own people, people who are God's children, do not avail themselves to the rich blessing of their own home church.

Last Sunday night after arriving home from Nova Scotia late that afternoon, I walked in Boones Creek Bible Church with a much deeper appreciation for that which God has blessed us.  As I stand in our Anniversary service this Sunday and we sing, "To God Be the Glory," I will be thinking of those little churches in Canada that long just to have a pastor and fellowship around the Word.  As I thank God for my church, I will be praying for theirs.

What do you love about your church?  Are you availing yourself to its ministries and faithfully attending?  If not, ask God to help you see what a gift it is, and get back into it this weekend!

With love,


Beth said...

This is very true. My husband and I were missionaries on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, for seven years. The few people that we had really appreciated Christian fellowship, and we realized what a treasure it is. Thanks for your posts!

Denise said...

Wow, so you know first-hand! Thanks, Beth.