A few weeks ago, I heard a comment from one of our members that I believe describes our current situation at Royston First UMC. “We are going to have to stretch ourselves if we ever want to grow as a church.” This comment put into words a feeling I have long held to be true. In the church, in our personal life, in our careers, and in all areas of life — we need to stretch ourselves if we ever want to grow.
This Sunday, we will begin a new message series on stewardship and finances. Throughout this series, I will share with you some of my personal story about my growth in the discipline of giving and my understanding of stewardship in our faith. But simply put, as I look back on my own story there has been a lot of stretching in my faith, my career, and my personal life. And I know that I continue to stretch myself and I continue to be stretched; but with the stretching has come tremendous growth in every area of my life.
Throughout this series, I hope to share with you some of the ways I believe our church is stretching for growth. I have enjoyed hearing your stories over the last few months, and through nearly every story I have heard one common thread — we need to stretch ourselves! We need to stretch ourselves to think about how we are doing what we currently do. We need to stretch ourselves to think about how we can reach new people. And we need to stretch ourselves in our understanding of what God can do when we are good stewards of what God has given us. That is why I have asked each of our ministry leaders to stretch their imagination in what ministries they would like to see offered in 2019 and beyond. I believe God will continue to do amazing things at Royston First UMC!
Finally, remember that stretching can cause discomfort. As we stretch, we may start using muscles that have not been used much before and it takes time for those muscles to get used to this new behavior. But discomfort does not mean we should give up. As the muscles stretch, they are made stronger and can be used in new ways. Through the stretching, we also create new muscle and we are better equipped to handle the situations of life.
I invite you to join me over these next four weeks as we stretch ourselves to the possibilities of what God can do when we are faithful stewards of what God has given us. I am excited about what God is doing in and through Royston First UMC and I am honored that I get to be your pastor! No matter where you are in life, there’s a place for you at Royston First UMC. Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship at 8:45 and 11:00 this Sunday!
P.S. Don’t forget to join us this Sunday night for our annual Harvest Fest at 5:30 PM. It is going to be a lot of fun and I hope you are planning to be there. I am expecting a large turnout from our community, and I hope you will join me in welcoming our neighbors with the love of Christ. Have a wonderful weekend!