Attendance Opens Doors

Here in Homer Alaska the Churches have a unique bond. The leaders of the Churches here meet together each week in a Pastor’s group we call the Homer Ministerial Alliance (HMA). This group of pastors lead a couple of community events together. One is a joint Halloween carnival for young children. The other is a community wide worship service that we call “One Lord Sunday.” Through the years we have done several other projects, but these are the regular ones. Because we have organized events our weekly meetings have a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.

I have been a part of the HMA every since I moved to town 5 years ago. I have attended a meeting here and there, but I could not say that I have been at every meeting – not even close. I have attended once or twice a month depending on the time of year and the topic for discussion.

This last year everything changed. I volunteered to be the president of the HMA for the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014. Knowing that we had events to plan and that I was the primary person responsible motivated me to commit to attending every meeting this year. While I have missed a couple of meetings for various ministry reasons I have not missed a meeting this calendar year.

Yesterday we were meeting together and the conversation was good. We have been praying for one another and that continued. We joked and laughed and enjoyed ministry together. After the meeting I told my wife that this is the closest I have ever felt to the other preachers in town. I feel like they are my friends and I can share openly and honestly with them. I feel as though they care about me and I know I care about them.

Last night I was reflecting on my feelings about the other pastors and I wondered what had made the difference in my relationship with them. Here are my conclusions: One, we are praying for each other. This definitely breaks down barriers. Two, I have known them longer. With time many walls come down. Finally, I have been attending every week.

One of the biggest reasons that my relationship with other Christian leaders has changed is because of my regular attendance at meetings. I now understand the “inside jokes.” I know the ups and downs of their lives. They now view me as a part of their lives. Every dynamic of our relationship changed simply because I attend every meeting.

I think the same is true for every Christian. If you attend a large group or a small group meeting once in a while, you will feel little connection. But when you attend every week and participate in conversations then a world of new relationships open up to you. Yes, we can be Christians without attending Church functions every week, but the dynamics change when we do.

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