Dear Friends of Zion,
The Church on earth has a mission, and that mission involves all of those who are part of God’s redeemed people on this side of heaven. Our mission is to make disciples. We are to reach out with the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ to people who do not know the power of God’s love for our sinful humanity.
That mission can seem overwhelming. I am sure that the Eleven Apostles felt that way when Jesus told them to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). That was a pretty huge calling for such a small band of disciples. Sometimes we can lose sight of what we are able to do. Sometimes the task can seem so big we do not know where to begin.
In our local church here at Zion Lutheran Church, we can be involved in that mission in many ways. One way is to see our attendance in worship as a means to be mission minded. Visitors who come to church are more inclined to join when they see a lot of people rather than an empty parking lot and empty pews.
I knew of one family looking for a church. They found a nice church, but there were no children. Since they had children, they decided to look elsewhere. I heard of another family with a couple of teenagers. But when they visited a church, there were no teenagers. They decided to look elsewhere. Even though the congregation had children and teenagers and others on their membership list, they did not take the time to be involved in worship. As a result, a mission opportunity was lost.
I believe that one way we can be involved in mission is to see that our weekend worship provides a welcome environment for those who may be looking for a church. We are blessed with people of all ages in our congregation. But they need to be seen and involved in the heart of our worship experience. It is in worship that we take time to praise and glorify God and He offers forgiveness and strengthens our faith.
It is my impression that most people here at Zion Lutheran Church would love to see more people in worship. Teenagers would love to have a larger number involved in Youth activities. The Men’s group would like to see more at the Men’s breakfast. Other groups would appreciate more people to whom they can share the blessings of being loved by God. And everyone would enjoy seeing a greater number of children go up for the object lesson.
May God open our hearts and eyes always to see our lives and the lives of our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ as being involved in a great and wonderful mission. And may we support each other in this calling so that we can effectively reach out with the Good News of God’s love for us through our crucified and risen Savior, Jesus Christ, our Lord!
In Christ’s Service,
Dear Friends of Zion,
I recently was reminded of a poem and finger play that I was taught long ago in Sunday School. Maybe you were taught the same. “Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people.” With two hands and the poem we were reminded of the blessings of being in the church.
In today’s society, most churches are facing fewer people in worship. Ours is one of many in this category. Some churches have abandoned Sunday school because there is not enough children or interest. Less people are willing to commit and volunteer in church activities. As a result, the Body of Christ – the Church – struggles.
But in spite of the bad news, Zion Lutheran Church and the people in it are truly blessed. Our Little Zion Preschool continues to do well with enrollment, reaching many children and families with the love of God. We have a Sunday School and dedicated people who love the children and know how important it is to teach them the Holy Scriptures. We have two adult Bible Studies and a Catechism Class. Infants and others are brought into God’s kingdom of grace through Holy Baptism. Many are fed weekly with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Lord’s Supper for their spiritual well-being. And those who grieve at the death of loved ones can find comfort in the victory of Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Savior!
I am praying for the people in our church. I am praying that all remain firm in the faith and that Jesus will be their source of joy and peace, blessing them with the promise of eternal life and His continued care. I am praying that more of our members will be willing to help and volunteer in whatever capacity the Lord enables them. Our church is blessed when people get involved as teachers, Altar Guild, choir, musicians, Readers, Acolytes, Ushers, Greeters, Men’s Group, Women’s Group, Youth Group, and Hospitality with the coffee hour, and more. All of these functions require people…people like you. It really isn’t hard to help. God gave us a body and blessed us with some abilities to make this church fulfill its mission goals.
I thank God for the continued service of our leadership here who work hard on your behalf and for the glory and praise of our Lord. May we also be a church that shows the importance of people who love the Lord and love one another in this place. And it is my prayer that when our doors are open, others can see all of the people…people like you.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Bob Hass