How to beat the Monday Morning Blues---
What does your church do for people? Probably more than you’ve thought. Every Monday, scores of pastors walk away from ministry. It’s easy for us to forget how incredibly helpful the local church is in shaping and benefiting people’s lives. Let me encourage you about this for the next few minutes. Here are a few of the valuable favors people regularly receive at our church and churches like ours: 1. We introduce people to Jesus. More people come to Christ on Sundays in local churches than anywhere else. Knowing Jesus is an eternity changer. Peace, forgiveness, purpose, hope and heaven come from him. 2. We teach people to read Scripture. Learning to read the Bible is like learning another language. The most important one! Scripture is God’s native tongue. Without it, we know only what God says through natural revelation. It’s like visiting Mexico with five phrases of Spanish. Earth’s experiences are immeasurably richer when you know what God is saying to you. 3. We teach people to pray. Reading the Bible lets you listen to God. Praying lets you talk to him. I’ll bet if you talked to 10 men on the street, eight of them would say they would rather have direct access to God’s ears for whatever was troubling them than to have a healthy bank statement. 4. We teach people to serve. Jesus said he came not to be served, but to serve. So we teach people to approach others with an humble attitude and meet needs when possible. We teach people about spiritual gifts, and the rewards available in heaven to those who faithfully use their gifts to further God’s cause. Service actually reaps invaluable benefits in the character of the servant. That’s quite a favor! 5. We teach people to share their faith. Not only does evangelism introduce others to Jesus, in Philemon 6, Paul points out that our understanding of God’s goodness is expanded when we share our faith. It’s a perspective changer that’s priceless. 6. We teach people to give. Giving opens people to otherwise unattainable spiritual and material blessings. It breaks the hold of greed and it opens the floodgates of heaven. Imagine how shallow your life would be if you didn’t know how to give? 7. We welcome people into an extended family. How many times have you as a Christian leader heard this comment, “ I finally feel like I’m at home in this community.” Good churches are like good families. They have older aunts and uncles who wrap their arms around the hurting and counsel those in need. What price tag would you put on that? 8. We build values into their children. Fifty-two weekends a year, while adults are learning about Scripture, prayer, service and giving, their children are learning lessons about faith and honesty and courage. I imagine that if every young mom and dad could ask one favor, it would be that somebody would help them raise great children. The church does this like no other institution in the world. 9. We strengthen marriages. For most married couples, the spousal relationship is both their greatest joy and challenge. Churches provide classes and counseling, encouragement and exhortation, practical teaching and principled reasoning on how couples can love each other well. Another priceless favor! 10. We carry out N.T. ordinances. The ordinances left us by Jesus, water baptism and communion, are best performed in the context of the local church. Also opportunities are given to help fulfill the Great Commission, through missions giving and sending. Churches are gifts to their communities. My church does incredible favors for people! This is probably true in all 4.8 million churches in the world. Most of us have just never thought much about it. When we do, we sometimes take those favors for granted. Discouraging church leaders is one of Satan’s most frequent gambits. Pastor: A healthy local church is an immeasurable gift to its community! If yours offers half these benefits, praise God for it! In fact, if you’ll take three minutes, I’ll bet you can come up with a better list than I did. When you do, thank God for your church!