“But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
Visitors to our church and new congregants often remark that we have a lot going on for a body our size. I immediately agree with this assessment but am also of two minds as I reflect on this fact. The body of Christ, manifesting itself through the local church, is supposed to engage every member in service to one another and Gospel ministry to our community. We are supposed to be a body of owners not renters, actively engaged as the Lord has called us. But at the same time, our ministry should be life giving and not life sapping. What I mean is that every ounce of ministry and activity expended by this local body of Christ should result in work that births new or builds up existing Christian life. Hopefully all ministry starts out doing that, but often needs change and the Lord calls us in other directions. It’s at that point that we need to recognize the need to adapt an existing ministry or stop doing an old work that takes more from the life of the body than it gives. Doing that requires seeking the Lord in Word and prayer and taking a little time to back away from the busyness. It is these three things that we, as a church, intend to focus on this summer as we prepare for fall.
Our summer schedule will kick in on June 24th, when our morning worship service time changes to 9 A.M., with coffee hour and fellowship to follow. That same day, we will begin to take a summer break from Sunday school and other classes normally occurring throughout the week (men’s Tuesday night fellowship will continue). Our Sunday night praise and prayer service will also take a break and come back with a different format in September. The elders and I would like July and August to be months in which we all focus on worshipping God well, seeking His leading and devoting ourselves to fellowship within the body. Each of us plays a vital role in this.
It is my hope that you will use a little of your down time to get into the Word of God, if you are not already doing so on a daily basis. There is nothing, truly nothing, that will transform your Christian walk like a daily commitment to reading the Bible. This is the place where we hear God speak to us. Don’t take my word for it, challenge yourself to a daily reading plan for the summer and take stock of the work God has done in you come September. At the same time, commit yourself to regular periods of prayer – thanking God for His many provisions and laying your needs before His feet. Ask God to reveal the life giving work He has prepared for you and for this church. Don’t think for a moment that these things are reserved for the elders, deacons and pastor. We are all equally part of the body and it is our collective privilege and responsibility to discern God’s will for the Congregational Church of Goffstown.
Included in this issue of Passages, is a summer reading list of books that the elders and I have found help as we sought to grow in God’s grace. But before you consider adding even one of them to your shopping cart, please make sure you first commit to the daily reading of God’s Word. If you need help getting started, finding a Bible translation or working through a particular passage, let me or one of the elders know. We’d consider it a privilege to help you find God’s heart through His Word. So let’s all, like Mary in the passage above, stop the busyness and seek “the good portion” of our Lord’s presence this summer.