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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)

TITLE: Your Church Family Is A Gift: Have You Opened It?
By Karen Petty


My family and I filed into the sanctuary. With the baby playing in the nursery and the older two kids scattering away to their friends, my 6 year old son and I settled into our favorite pew. It was “missionary night” where we would come and learn each month, about what our missionaries were doing and how we could get involved. The doors were manned by two very cheerful young men sitting at a table. “Have you signed in yet?” said the 5th grader, while the 6th grader stretched his arm out to offer a pen to the latest arrival. No one wanted to miss out on signing up for the door prize drawings. Ms. Davis, a precious senior member of our congregation always comes prepared with a tub full of chocolates, notepads, and miscellaneous goodies to award to the proud recipients. Many times she brings extra items so as to have enough to place a treat in the hands of each child present.

“Mom, did you know that if no one comes to church then it isn’t really a church? It’s just a building?” said my energetic boy, as he raced a small car across his seat. “Yes, sweetie” I said. “If no one comes to pray or learn about God, then it might as well be any old building”. “I learned that in Sunday school”, he spouted. "You're a smart boy". I said. Then he noticed a nearby friend. He scooted past me to say hello, with car in hand and a spare in his pocket for just such an occasion.

As my gaze spanned the room, I was witness to many pleasant exchanges. Some conversed intently and reserved, while other bubbled over with laughter, flapping their hands about as they spoke. Teens huddled together in their usual spot catching up any thing new that may’ve happened at school or in an interesting phone call. Men volleyed back and forth about last week’s ball game, and who might win the next one.

Music started to play and people began finding their seats. I noticed that no one was alone, even if they had arrived that way. I thought to myself that this is what being a part of a church is all about. Of course, God intends for us to worship Him together as a body and study His Word. We need to lift one another’s burdens up to the Lord, as He instructed. These are all vital to an active and alive church. But God has an added blessing for us, as we gather together with our church family.

Our brothers and sisters in Christ become a support system for us, and we for them. Sometimes even more so, than our biological families. Do we not celebrate new babies with our church family, as well as mourn with them when some one has experienced a loss? Do we not stop and take a minute to listen to someone’s financial or health concerns, and take the time to pray for that person? Do we not mentor one another respectively just by being available to encourage when an opening arises? Doing these types of things is a great opportunity to invest in and edify one another. At the same time, we receive such a blessing just from plugging in, being a part, opening up, and making ourselves available to serve one another.

So, the next time you are at church chatting away at a potluck, volunteering in the nursery, helping with “church clean up day”, or especially when you see a gaggle of happy kids bouncing down the hall, be very thankful to be part of the family of God.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 10/20/07
You described the setting vividly; I could imagine being there.

In your second paragraph, you should put each speaker's dialogue in a separate paragraph.

This is a great message for us all to remember.
Donna Powers 10/21/07
Amen! Love the comment by the little boy. Such a heartwarming message; told simply but eloquently. Nice job.