Finding Your ‘Labor of Love’
This past Sunday, we looked at “Your Labor of Love Reveals…”
To listen to this message or download a “Growing Deeper” Guide, click here:
Joel Kilpatrick, back in the September edition of Larknews.com in 2006, wrote a fictional piece of satire portraying a church taking membership and active participation seriously. The article was entitled, "Mega-Church Downsizes, Cuts Non-Essential Members", and in part went as follows:
Julie and Bob Clark were stunned to receive a letter from their church in July asking them to "participate in the life of the church"—or worship elsewhere. "They basically called us freeloaders," says Julie. "We were freeloaders," says Bob.
In a trend that may signal rough times for wallflower Christians, bellwether mega-church Faith Community of Winston-Salem has asked "non-participating members" to stop attending. "No more Mr. Nice Church," says the executive pastor, newly hired from Cingular Wireless. "Bigger is not always better. Providing free services indefinitely to complacent Christians is not our mission."
"Freeloading" Christians were straining the church's nursery and facility resources, and harming the church's ability to reach the lost, says the pastor. "When your bottom line is saving souls, you get impatient with people who interfere with that goal."
Faith Community sent polite but firm letters to families who attend church services and "freebie events," but never volunteer, never tithe, and do not belong to a small group or other ministry. The church estimates that, of its 8,000 regular attendees, only half have volunteered in the past 3 years, and a third have never given to the church.
"Before now, we made people feel comfortable and welcome, and tried to coax them to give a little something in return," says a staff member. "That's changed. We're done being the community nanny."
Surprisingly, the move to dis-invite people has drawn a positive response from men in the community who like the idea of an in-your-face church. "I thought, A church that doesn't allow wussies—that rocks," says Bob Clark, who admires the church more since they told him to get lost.
*The above is fictional, but addresses a church at its best: Such is a church focused on its mission and helping each member to find their role within the church to complete the mission. How are you using your gifts in a “labor of love”?
Based on Romans 12:1-8
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (v.1)
A Prayer to Pray:
Lord Jesus, thank you for the gifts you have given me. Forgive me for the times I have buried or ignored them. Help me, Lord, to unwrap and use my gifts in ways that honor You and are a blessing to others. Guide me in ways that my gifts can strengthen the mission of Your church at New Life. In Your Bold and Beautiful Name, I pray. Amen.
SMALL GROUP book study continues this Wednesday (6:30-8pm in the LL) – based on the book 12 Extraordinary Women. TONIGHT we will look at Mary and Martha and Mary Magdalene. Next week will be our last session. We'll look at Lydia and do a wrap up.
Ladies Fellowship Breakfast, Thursday, September 10, 8:30am @ Cowans. Spread the word to all the Ladies of NLC and their friends.
Parking Lot Asphalt has been sealed and lined! THANK YOU New Life Church... your generosity has allowed us to not only extend the life of our parking lot and properly care for one of God’s many blessings to us, but it also more closely reflects the pride we all have in our faith, our relationship with the Lord & for His Church! Your financial gifts enable us to reflect the high quality of God’s love and grace for all! Again, THANK YOU!
Vinyl Flooring has been cleaned and waxed. Many thanks to those who helped move tables and other items from the surfaces, and return them.
GREAT MOVIE – a group of 30 from New Life viewed the movie WAR ROOM this past Monday at Cinema One Plus. Be sure to see this faith-filled presentation.
Opportunities to Serve at New Life Church! Please respond using the Communication Card or sign up in the lobby. We are in need of:
FOOD PANTRY NEEDS – our local food pantry is in need of food supplies – especially cereals and other kid-friendly food items. Our VBS collected 1318 items this week for the food pantry. Could you bring in a bag of non-perishable food items to help out those in need?
Daybreak Women’s Conference – “Unquenchable” – Sept. 18-19 @ Harvester Christian Church. Carol Kent is the speaker, guest musician is Jenny Simmons. Register online at http://daybreak.harvesterchristian.org/home/daybreak-2015. See lobby clipboard to communicate interest, transportation & hotel sharing. Contact Catie Monzyk for more info.
9/24- "Ladies Night Out" at Candi Martin's house, 415 Cardinal Meadows Dr., Washington, MO. Ladies gather for devotion, fellowship and a service project.
9/11 - Community Prayer Watch at New Life Church from 8am-6pm. To kick off the time of prayer, we’ll host a Community Prayer Service on Thursday, 9/10, 7-8pm. Prayer guides will be available.