There’s no way to know this for sure, because each congregation is different, but I’m guessing there aren’t many congregations out there who have ever had three of their regular pianists go on “maternity leave” at roughly the same time. But such is our lot this summer. For some reason, that strikes me as fun and exciting. First of all, because it means that God has created three new lives, precious miracles. Secondly, because the Music and Worship Committee seems to have it all under control. There may be a Sunday here or there that is difficult for them to find a pianist, but they are confident that they’ll be able to serve our congregation well through the musical gifts that God has given them.
Our Music and Worship Committee isn’t the only group with an “all hands on deck” motto this summer. Our Christian Education Committee’s request for a Bible College summer team to help with VBS was denied. That means we need lots of extra help to conduct VBS this summer and to do it well, for the benefit of our children and to the glory of God. The last time I checked, the CE Committee’s sign-up sheet was almost full. Praise God!
It is a joy to see people serving the congregation, according to the gifts God has given them. It’s actually an indicator that there is life here. One of our former pastors and the first president of the AFLC, John Strand, wrote, “As a congregation becomes living, it serves. It has a concern that the lost be saved, and the Gospel be preached. This concern is to be had by all, not only the clergy. Laymen too have the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel. They are encouraged to work, using all the gifts God gives them, for the salvation of souls, for the edification of the church.”
As a part of this body of Christ, you have the responsibility and the privilege to use the gifts God has given you for “the building up of the body” (Eph. 4:12). You may not be in front of the church preaching each week or singing or playing the piano, but there are lots of other ways to serve. Talk to the Buildings & Grounds Committee about the summer maintenance projects that need to be done. Talk to the Youth Committee about helping them with different youth events throughout the summer. Pray for the ministry of St. Paul’s through the summer. All of these are wonderful opportunities to serve, and we serve with joy, because Christ has joyfully served us.
Summer is usually quieter around church. Many of our regular programs and ministries take the summer off. But that doesn’t mean we stop living and serving, even if it might look a little bit different for the next few months. Enjoy your time at the lake or on family vacations. Take advantage of opportunities to visit grandchildren. And know that the precious ministry of the Gospel is going to continue to ring forth from this congregation, whoever happens to be in the pulpit on a particular Sunday or whoever is playing the piano. Rejoice that our young people are going to hear about the life found in Jesus at VBS, youth group, and Bible camps.
And as you are led, find ways to serve, wherever you are and according to your gifts and abilities. I thank God for each of you. It is a delight to serve with you and to grow with you. I’m very excited for all that God has in store for our congregation this summer!
The full newsletter can be found here.