Remember your church family (religion)

Published 10:39 am Thursday, May 12, 2016

By Jason Green

Spring is a busy time of the year. Community ballparks are full. The highways are crowded. It seems every weekend that comes around is packed with opportunity for fun in the sun, visits with family, trips to the mall, etc.

When we look up a lot of times, it seems we’ve far too quickly ran out of time.



Somewhere in the midst of the mayhem spring and summer fever can cause, we find ourselves slipping away from something that is both beneficial and important for young and old alike: church.

No finger pointing here, though. Truth be told (if pastors and church staff were really honest about it), there’s a lot of times we’d like to be sprawled on some beach somewhere or watching a ball game, too. Even we are not immune from the occasional bout of burnout and that rambling itch.

I don’t believe in guilting people into doing things. I’m a firm believer that we make time for the things that are really the most important things to us. Family and fun are vitally important in this journey called life. We desperately need them, and God loves us to have those times together.

But as you piece your spring and summer together, let me just encourage you with a a few points about keeping close to your church family.

First, if your church is like mine, there’s probably a lot going on. Many of those things are designed to help encourage you, strengthen you and grow you as a person, a Christian, as a spouse or a parent.

Missing opportunities for growth and improvement spiritually can have devastating effects on families, relationships, jobs and the like.

Second, when you miss fellowship with your church family, you find yourself getting a little detached. Detachment from fellowship equals distraction from mission, too.

When we lose touch with the people God has called us to serve, it can take a lot of time rekindling the trust and closeness that consistency builds. We end up spending a lot of effort in recovering lost time and ground.

Finally, the two most vital ministries churches have are children and youth, and our community is loaded with great leaders in both areas.

Summer is the time when both these ministries really plant seeds that can lead to spiritual growth, friendships and inclusion. When we take so much time away from these activities, we miss the best of what they have to offer.

In return, we often wonder what happened…how did we miss so much and get so far away? How did we and our children get so detached so quickly?

The truth is, there’s a lot to do and to get done. But, in the midst of all of this, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask a simple question: “Of the things we want to do and can do, what will have the most significant impact on our lives individually, then as families?.”

Ephesians 5:15-16 says: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

As summer approaches, have a good time. The Mouse House is calling in central Florida. The sunny beaches of the Gulf Coast are calling all our names. The ping of the bat draws us like bugs to a zapper.

But, as we travel and as we just do (whatever that might be), don’t take the guard off the gate of your life by getting too far away from your church family. This could be the most powerful spring and summer you’ve ever experienced. It will be if we can all remember to simply thoughtfully redeem the time with which God has blessed us.

Happy spring and summer good people. God bless you and enjoy yourselves!

The Rev. Jason Green is pastor of Mineral Springs Baptist Church. Look for another installment of his column in a future edition of The Clanton Advertiser.