In one of the churches I served our congregation asked me to try to get our community involved in the church. The community around the church was a vastly different demographic than the people attending the church. I planned a community-wide event, invited a choir I knew would draw community members into the church and planned a message that would be focused on the people I knew might come to the event. We advertised, promoted and put up flyers around the entire community. We planned food and refreshments and then prayed for God to bless the event.
And God DID bless the event! The church was full of people wanting to hear God's Word in music and God's message preached. It was a high time for that little church as the Sanctuary had over double the number of people we would normally have on a Sunday morning. God answered our prayers. The event went wonderfully, filled with life and fellowship and God's Spirit. Two things, however, were missing.
First, only 5 people from that congregation were at the event. They didn't want to be associated with the people or the music or the message. It wasn't comfortable, and the people attending were "beneath" them. They wanted me to invite community people who were like them.
Second, there was a huge lack of help to do refreshments and greet the people. I remember Lee going to ask two of our church ladies who came to critique the event if they could give her a hand in the kitchen. They responded ... "We didn't come to serve!"
I am honored that at Abbeville UMC we have lots of people who "come to serve." At last night's 5th Sunday Community Sing our kitchen was full of helpers. The event was full of AUMC people (and people from other congregations in the Abbeville Community). There were people from all walks of life, just loving the time of singing and celebrating the Lordship of Jesus Christ. THANK YOU for being people who come to serve! I think God would say, "Well done, my good and faithful servants!" Randy