Recently, one of our members came to me with a concern for those who have not been worshiping with us in several months. She spoke of names of individuals who used to sit around her in worship, and wondered aloud where these people might be. Many times, a church can become focused on our outreach to the community that we might lose sight of those who are already within our own community of faith. As I spoke with this member on that day, she shared with me an idea that she had to reach out to those members who have not been attending recently.
Jesus teaches about the lost sheep in Luke 15, where he says, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” In this parable, Jesus is referring to those who do not know the Lord. But I believe the same principle applies to those members in our church who are no longer active in the church. As the body of Christ, we should go after our lost sheep until we find them and bring them home.
During the months of September and October, I want to invite you to join us in a Membership Campaign where we will be intentional about reaching out to those members we have not seen in a while. I will be visiting with our Sunday School classes this month, and we will be mailing some information to these members, but personal contact goes a long way. If you know of someone who used to sit beside you in worship, and you have not seen them recently, will you pick up the phone and give them a call. Our hope is that we are able to reach those who have wandered away and help bring them back home.
It’s a great time to be part of Royston First United Methodist Church and I am so excited that I get to be your pastor.
With the love of the Lord,