With the calendar flipping to August, something is definitely in the air. Yes, it is still summer. The dog days are ahead of us. Unbearable humidity and the accompanying exhaustion. Dry spells and boiling sun so hot you can cook an egg on the blacktop. However, …
High school football teams and marching bands have begun their preparations for the fall. University students are finishing up internships and preparing for the rigors of the next academic year. And at Hillside Church, more new visitors are checking us out each Sunday, and many are coming back for a second and third time.
I’ve given up trying to predict when change is in the air. What I urge you, my brothers and sisters in Christ at Hillside church to join me in doing is this: pay attention. Who have you encountered who might say “yes, okay,” if you took a chance and invited them to worship? When, recently, have you come on Sunday morning and seen people you hadn’t seen before? Did you take a moment and introduce yourself?
There are somethings I advise you to ignore. Political polarization. Arguments about masks and vaccines. The subtle advertising bombardment on your favorite social media platform. Alternative facts. Tune out all that noise. Don’t give in to the negative. Don’t regard others as ‘enemy’ or ‘antagonist.’
Do pay attention to the people around you who need the gospel. Be present for those in pain. Be an embodied public advertisement for the gospel and for Hillside Church. As a congregation, we will employ strategies to promote growth. However, our best strategy is our committed members showing up in person each week, and inviting people they meet in the course of life to come to church, to be part of what we’re doing.
As I engage new people in conversation on Sunday mornings and hear optimism from long-time members, I am made more and more aware, that God is at work among us and in our community. We need to see where the Spirit is active and join in what God is doing.