THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN CLEAR UP a potential miscommunication. During my sermon I referenced the historic attendance we had yesterday; 106 persons. After church one person, highly complimentary of the service and the message said, "I do wish you hadn't referenced the attendance. A message on the power of the resurrection wasn't the right time to boast about the attendance." Well, unfortunately, I departed from my notes. When I do that, sometimes my thoughts aren't delivered the way they were intended and for that I apologize. But please know this: If there was any boasting to be done, it was solely in the blessing of God! Many people have been working very hard since last November to help us reach out to others and to grow the church. I've reminded them time and time again of this verse from 1 Corinthians 3:6, "I (Paul) planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow." And I've been reminding them that if we work hard, we have to trust in God for the increase. My comments yesterday were merely to celebrate the blessing of God on our congregation.
HAVING SAID THAT, I do think that numbers matter. Numbers can get us into trouble if all we want to do is "fill the church". And, numbers can get us into trouble if they ever become about us, instead of about Jesus. It's all about the motivation. In the New Testament Church, but Book of Acts is very descriptive when it talks about the growth of the church. In Acts 2 the church was described as having 3,000 baptized on the day of Pentecost. Then, in Acts 4 we're told that the church grew to about 5,000. I think numbers even matters to Jesus. He once told a parable about a shepherd leaving 99 sheep to go look for the 1 lost sheep. That 1 really mattered!
ONE PERSON STILL REALLY MATTERS. Every person who comes to church is ONE more person that we have the opportunity to witness to. Someone might say, "What is that ONE is already a Believer?" Well, then that ONE is ONE more person to help us reach out to and help others.
TO ME, THE NUMBERS describe the people that we're reaching and the people that can help us reach others. So definitely, I love seeing believers joining with us as they add strength to the congregation. But, I also love seeing the non-believer joinings with us and seeking to discover what Christianity is all about. And, I just want you to know, that the feedback from both believers and non-believers alike has been unbelievably good! Recently, we helped a homeless teen find a place live and financially supported the effort. Yesterday, a young man sought out one of our Elders and said, "You saved my life" and described how what he heard in a devotion and a sermon literally saved his life. I sat down with two young gentleman last week and presented the gospel; both are on the doorstep of accepting Christ. And there's more. All this to say, that one by one we are making a difference in the lives of people and that's something all of us at Tri County can be proud of, all the while giving thanks and ALL the glory to God.
THERE'S ONE MORE WAY that we can help in the short-term. I met yet another young man. He's got a job. He pays rent, but he's in a bad living arrangement. He would like to find a more safe place to live. His job is in Fowlerville, so he's hoping to find a place in the Howell, Hartland, Fenton area, but is willing to consider anything. If you know of a person who might have a room available, please reach out to me and let me know. I plan to sit down with this particular young man Wednesday afternoon and learn more of the specifics of his situation.
GOD IS USING people at Tri County and our church as a whole to make a difference in people's lives. I've never been more excited about our church and ministry than I am right now. Our church is described as a body (1 Corinthians 12). Every single one of us is a part of that body and has a function in the body. THANK YOU for your part!