I am so fortunate to attend the church that we do. It is a small church, but its people are rich in love for the Lord, and they serve Him with so much joy!
We had some years in the past where we struggled, and I learned then that most churches only have about a 20-26% attendance rate (Texas actually only has about 18%, according to the linked article), and of those only a fraction are actually active in the church. The interim pastors we had serving with us at the time were always surprised and then energized to discover that not only did we have a 50-60% attendance rate compared to our member roster, but that almost everyone who attended regularly was actively involved in the church in some role, whether serving on the Council, or as Sunday School teachers, maintaining the church grounds or parsonage, serving the Altar Guild, or in some other way. Nearly all of our regular attendees, and even our irregular ones, were involved. They still are. We didn’t have the choir then. Active participation is nearly unheard of, I guess.
I don’t mention this to boast, but to emphasize how blessed I am to be surrounded by such people. Our congregation is absolutely an extended family, people who are there for each other in times of joy and need. We celebrate the big and small things, and we grieve as a whole when a family member leaves us, whether that person moves away or is called home to the Lord.
We encourage each other to strengthen our faith, and we are there when to rejoice when when we see that faith in action. For as small as our congregation is, we have three separate Bible study groups, and our Pastor loves leading them. We pray for each other often. When visiting with each other, having spontaneous prayer or Bible chats are not uncommon. It is what we do. We love to stay in the Word, and we encourage each other to learn and grow from it and share it with others as well.
This morning, I was rejoicing that I am able to arrive early to hear our choir practice. I was really struggling this morning. I was tired, and my whole body hurt. My husband was slow to get out of bed. My daughter was even slower and caused us to be late for practice. But we arrived. And when they started singing the song they are performing in two weeks, I forgot all my tiredness and aches. Their voices lifted up in such praise that my heart lifted with them. They have been working so hard on this song, and they sounded so good! I wish I could share the audio, but it’s a new song, and I don’t want to step on any copyright toes. Please take my humble word that the Spirit of the Lord is shining through our little choir in this song as they lift their voices and instruments in praise to Him!
Thank you, Lord, for giving me this church family to learn and grow from, to sing hymns and praises in Your heavenly name!
Let the word of Christ dwell in richly, as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.Colossians 3:16 (EHV)