Over the last few years at Zion, we’ve been more intentional about reaching out to our less active church members. Thanks be to God, this has resulted in some of them becoming reengaged in the life of the church and receiving the Lord’s gifts more faithfully than they had in years, in some cases in decades. There have been some newsletter articles and brief discussions at voters meetings over the years about why the church is called to care for straying members.
We believe the time has come for a little more intensive teaching about this important task of the Christian church. Therefore, I’d like to strongly encourage you to attend Sunday adult Bible study on April 16th and April 23rd from 9:15-10:15 as we study what the Scriptures have to say about this topic.
Following that, we will be offering a spring learning conference developed by our Synod called “Shepherding the Strays” on Saturday, May 6th, beginning at 9am and ending with a lunch. Please plan to attend if you are able!
For the past decade or so, reaching out to the inactives has been primarily accomplished by the pastors and a few dedicated lay volunteers. Their help has been invaluable and appreciated (and indeed, we continue to need more people willing to help directly with the work of visitation!) But it has also given the false impression that this is something only the pastor, elders, and interested others need be concerned with. The task of reaching out in love for those who are not here is something that our Lord Jesus calls every Christian to be a part of. During the Bible study and workshop, we will talk about a variety of ways we can all contribute to that. Even if you do not feel like you are comfortable visiting and talking with inactive members, there are still many ways you can support this ministry of the church.
It is time for us to take a deeper look at God’s Word together so that we might continue to care for our straying members with love and joy, calling them to return to the arms of their Savior and of His body, the church. Please make it a priority to attend the Bible Study and workshop. I look forward to walking through this with you!