My Favorite Thing About Last Annual Meeting
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
By Pastor Mike
"What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up." - 1 Corinthians 14:26 (NIV)
Few things can make the average church-goer's mind go numb and eyes glaze over like the idea of a congregational business meeting. There is even an old joke about a church that could not solve their mouse infestation. Nothing they could do could get rid of the rodents. Finally, in desperation, they gave up and made the mice official church members. They never saw them again.
As a pastor, of course, this stuff is kind of like my job. But even for me, its not normally a highlight. Nevertheless, there were several things about Annual Meeting this year that really spoke to my heart and caused me to go home deeply encouraged. I loved the potluck and how many people stuck around to visit and eat together. I loved that we had nearly one-hundred-percent attendance from our members, a rare feat. I was encouraged even by some of discussion around more difficult issues, like our decline in giving over the last year. There was neither a bunch of fake "happy talk" about the problem, nor was there despair. Given we Americans' preference to "vote for a winner," one would expect evidence of decline to dishearten. It did not. It sobered, but it did not dishearten. God has a future for our little church. We believe it.
But the biggest thing about Annual Meeting this year, the thing that blessed me most, was hearing everyone's ministry reports. Normally we just hand out written reports, at least half of which are often left behind unread when people head home. This year we had people share their various ministries' journeys over the past year. We heard what God was doing, what was going well, what was a struggle. We hear where people hoped to see their ministries go in 2018. What I saw and heard was an engaged people. A people who care and are committed. A people who love their Lord and faithfully serve our small expression of his Church.
So to everyone who serves Jesus both inside and outside the walls of our little church, I want to say, Thank you! You are an encouragement to your pastor, and I know your love and service pleases our God. So let me leave you with the words of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians,
"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." - 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)