Since 2013, our church has steadily grown. This past weekend, at our 10:00 AM service, I observed 5 families who were new to Shuswap Community Church - some walking in with their kids, others walking in by themselves. At one point, I observed a couple looking for two seats during our 10:00 AM service. Sandi had introduced herself and looked for some seats for them as the worship began. Eventually, they found the final two spots on the main floor (in the front row!) - and they were seated and began to take in the worship service for the first time.
That interaction has caused me some reflection this week. It’s caused me to pause and consider this question: how do I consider others when I gather with the church on a Sunday morning? I was doing some reading ahead of the Salmon Arm Campus Town Hall this Sunday, January 26th at 12:30 PM, from a book titled “Discipling” by Mark Dever. In it, he writes this: (brace yourself!)
If you have never seen pigs come to a trough for mealtime, you can probably imagine it. Pushing. Shoving. Snorting. Swallowing as much as they can with no thoughts for others. Here’s a funny question worth thinking about for a moment: Is that how you attended church last Sunday? No, I’m not calling you a pig. But stop and consider: Where did you park? What time did you get to church? Where did you sit? Who did you speak to? Each one of these decisions provided you with an opportunity to give yourself to others and so join in the work of Christ. Or they provided you with an opportunity to look out for yourself, and do what is best for you. So what was it? Did you consciously strategize how to bless others with each one of those decisions?
Being a disciple of Jesus means orienting our lives toward others, just as Jesus did. It means laboring for the sake of others. This love for others is at the heart of discipling.
For those of you that have read this far - even past the portion on pigs - I salute you! By no means does parking in the available spot - or sitting on the main floor make you a pig. But perhaps there are opportunities for us to be disciples, even on Sunday mornings, that we haven’t considered before. Opportunities like:
- Attending the 8:30 or 11:30 AM service - to make space for guests or first time attendees.
- Staying after service to introduce yourself to new faces - or coming early for the sole purpose of welcoming others to SCC - beyond just saving a seat.
- Remembering someone’s name - and keeping an eye out for them the next week you’re at church.
Mark 10:43-45, Jesus says this, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” What could be one way you demonstrate that love for others - even this upcoming Sunday?