It is difficult to believe we are already three months into 2018 and Easter is a week away. At the end of last year, I read several articles about what to expect in the Church and for Christians in 2018. Now that we are three months into the year, I have noticed a few things that are happening in the small community where I live.
1. Church Security is the Hot Topic. With all of the violence in our country, schools, and Churches, security is no longer a topic to be ignored. Two of our elders attended a workshop for Church leaders. Our entire leadership invited two police officers in to tour our building and make suggestions. Nearby a Church is hosting a weekend for all leaders to attend that will address all security measures a Church might take to be a safe place.
Two sides of application for you to consider. First, upgrades in security come at a cost. We are looking to change doors in our building, add more magnetic door locks and security cameras for a start. Unfortunately, everything costs money including Church security. Second, these actions bring change. We might lose the aesthetics of some of our doors for more functional ones. We may have a person posted by the back door each week. Some doors will remain locked and force us to use a different path. The leadership feels these changes are minor to ensure the safety of our people.
2. Busyness is Getting Worse for People. One of my most significant pleas is for people to reduce their schedule. Do less is my battle cry. Busyness is destroying relationships. We no longer have time for people or Christians projects. When we do take time to do something meaningful we keep our phone handy so that we can stay connected.
My application for you to consider. Ruthlessly evaluate your schedule. Limit the number of sports and activities your children will participate in this year. Build into your schedule non-phone times and periods of freedom. Use those to focus on relationships and the people you love. Side note for grandparents: As your children get more and busier your role becomes more critical than ever. Your grandchildren will be spending more time at your house as your kids run to their next activity. Your influence is higher than it ever has been in my lifetime.
3. Spiritual Hunger is Growing. This might surprise you. I am convinced that people are getting more and more disillusioned with their lives. They are longing for something in their soul that will touch that spiritual void. I have had more spiritual conversations over the last six months with people than in my previous three years in this Church. People are hurting inside, and they are longing for answers that only Christ can give.
My application for you to consider. The longing is there for people we only need to invite people into the conversation. We need to ask people to Church and into our homes. Believers have the opportunity to make an impact on other people for eternity. The flip side to this truth connects with the second observation; many Christians are so busy they are missing the chance to share Jesus with those around them who are looking. My plea to open up space in your life is not just for your benefit but for those around you as well.
2018 has been a good year for me so far. The weather has been uncooperative, but God has used some ugly days to show some bright truths. I am excited about Easter, and I am praying the rest of this year will be better than the first few months.
May God bless you this coming week and the coming nine months.