The Blessings of a Community of Faith

The last week has been hard on me emotionally. I will not tell you everything that has been going on in my heart and mind but I will tell you that on Sunday I hit a low point. There were few people in worship and I thought the sermon did not go well. Then I taught Sunday School and the kids seemed bored. The rest of the day was spent mulling over my life and the events of the day. Finally on Sunday evening I sat down at my computer to catch up on the day’s events. On a whim I posted a statement on Facebook that simply said:

“Some Sunday mornings are energizing and exciting to me. This morning was a tough one for me. Still trying to shake it off.”

I was not quite prepared for what happened next. There were 28 replies to my original post. All of them were very supportive of me and my ministry. Some people emailed me personally. Some people stopped by the office on Monday. My elders encouraged me and prayed for me. It was an outpouring of love and support that brightened my day.

Last night as I lie in bed I was thinking about everyone’s kind words I had one clearly defined thought, “How do people get through life without a faith community? Yesterday I was clearly given three things by my Church.

1. Encouragement. The word encouragement means to give someone support, confidence or hope. While I felt bad about my leadership in the Church numerous people spoke about the difference I had made in their life. They gave me hope when I was feeling down.

Side Note – The best encouragement is specific. A personal story or comment takes it to a new level of helpful. (Thanks for sharing)

2. Prayer. Several people just let me know they were praying for me. This is frequently the best thing people can do. Whenever you do not know how to help someone, prayer is the answer.

3. Togetherness. Several people just reminded me that I am not alone. Everyone has a bad day now and then. All of us feel like a failure at one time or another. Most people have a day when they feel the weight of the world crushing them. It is good to know that other people have made it through tough days for the better and the same will happen for me. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just sit quietly with people and let them know you are there with them and for them.

The Church is a place where there are flawed people who gather in the name of Jesus. They make a lot of mistakes with each other that are sometime regrettable. Other times the Church is a place of support, encouragement and prayer. It is a group of people who help each other in their walk with God. The Church has been that for me. I hope that you find it that way for you too.

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