Church Sign in Nassau, Bahamas
“Guests are Welcome
Members are Expected”
Tabernacle members ought to show up! We are grateful when visitors and friends join us in worship and other activities. However, members ought to show up! Members should claim ownership of our ministry. We should be involved. We should show up!
Sara and I were on vacation several years ago in Nassau, Bahamas and walked passed this very old church. The sign on the church’s front wall said: “Guests are welcome; members are expected.” On the sign, there was a reference to supporting the church financially. I stood there, stared at it for a few moments, and took a picture. Its message was profound. Its meaning was deep and direct. I walked away from that church saying, “Yes!”
Our genuine love for Jesus Christ and Tabernacle compel us to show up. We show up for worship. We show up for Christian education opportunities. We show up to support our church in its various ministries, especially outreach efforts. We show up!
We do not show up to complain about what we do no have in our ministry. We show up to affirm what is as we strive to seek greater ways of service and ministry. We do not show up to compare our ministry with other ministries. We are Tabernacle. We have been Tabernacle for 130 years. While we strive to grow and mature, we are not jealous of what others are doing. Bigger parking lots, newer buildings, more members on the roll, and more gadgets do not equate to better ministry. We use what we have, cast a vision for what we need and show up!
Showing up is not just for the purpose of being counted. We show up to demonstrate our sincere love for the Lord, for each other, and for our ministry. We show up to worship the Lord and pray for each other. We use our talents, gifts and resources to support a ministry that remains vibrant and in this community since 1968. There are many congregations and ministries in Smithfield, College Hills, and Graymont. We share a special bond of friendship with five of them: First Congregational UCC, Greater Temple Baptist, Our Lady Queen of the Universe Catholic, St. Paul AME, and Thirgood Memorial CME. During the season of Lent, we will show up each Wednesday evening to share in fellowship and worship with our brothers and sisters. We show up!
The writer of the book of Hebrews encouraged his audience, “Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near (Hebrews 1.24-25, Kids’ Life Application Bible).”
I hope you will make a special effort to always show up. Peace be with you. Amen.