On The Journey, Judy Bowman
I recently read a list of complaints about the church which was written by a young man. It touched on the variety of factors which the author felt has led to young people feeling disengaged, disillusioned, disappointed, and just “dissed” by the church. He cited his list of issues as being central to understanding why so many millennials no longer attend church. The facts are that fewer people of ALL age groups attend church now and while young people often view their issues as unique, they’re not.
The truth is, at one time or another, we’ve all felt (and may continue to feel) as though our church wasn’t listening to us. That isn’t something unique to churches either. You’re going to feel ignored at work, at home, and among your friends. The church is made up of flawed and sinful people — like you and me. My advice to you is: get over it. If you feel ignored, speak up. Volunteer. You don’t need an invitation to give your time and money to a ministry or project. Just do it. Most churches are chronically in need of more helping hands. You won’t be ignored for long if you’re showing up to help.
The author despairs that the church isn’t doing enough to help the poor. This might be true for his particular church, but churches do an enormous amount of charitable work. They feed, clothe, educate, and provide medical care to millions of people around the world every single day. If you are in a church that isn’t doing enough for the poor, then start doing it yourself. Open a food bank. Start a soup kitchen. Organize a clothes closet. The poor are always with us and we can always do more to help them.
He bemoans that his church is not welcoming to newcomers. Does he make it a point to introduce himself to those he doesn’t know? Has he ever invited a visitor for coffee after church? Does he stand at the door and shake hands, hand out bulletins, offer directions or answer questions before church begins?
The author says that young people want to feel valued. Who doesn’t? We all want to feel that we matter and that we’re contributing members of something greater than ourselves. But this doesn’t happen automatically. Your church can’t value or appreciate someone they don’t know. Are you attending church services? Have you volunteered for ministry service? Have you ever attended a Bible study, a church picnic, or a planning meeting? We have to be willing to sacrifice ourselves for our church, just as Jesus sacrificed everything for her.
The article goes on to list all the things “the church” could do to improve and to change. The truth is the church is you, it’s me, it’s all of us. If the church has problems, it’s because I have problems. If the church needs help, it’s because I need help. It’s easy to say that you’re not getting anything out of church. The real issue is: what am I bringing to the church? Do I lay myself and my life at His altar and pray that He will use me to enrich His church?
“We are forbidden to neglect the assembling of ourselves together. Christianity is already institutional in the earliest of its documents. The Church is the Bride of Christ. We are members of one another.” — C.S. Lewis
Glenda Smiley, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
Attention: Thinking about school? It’s here! Pleasant Valley Baptist will be having Back To School “Splash Bash” this Saturday, August 6, from noon to 3 p.m. There will be blow-up water slide, bouncy house, water activities, and lots of good things to eat. Mark your calendars and fill up your car with kids. Lots of fun and treats to be had by all.
Special notice: Homecoming will be celebrated this Sunday, August 7th. The gospel group, Bondservants, will be with us for this special service starting at 10:30 am with dinner after the service. Pleasant Valley Baptist invites everyone to worship with us. If you have attended before, a previous member, or never worshipped with us, we want you to join us for Homecoming. It will be a wonderful day of thanking God for all His blessings with fantastic music, message and food.. You can get fed spiritually and physically.
New classes: Wednesday night Youth Programs will begin this Wednesday, August 10th, 7 pm. Classes will last about an hour so that youth can be home in plenty of time. There will be groups for younger kids beginning at 3 years old thru 5th grade, and 6th grade thru 12. Young people need spiritual teaching and encouragement to get them through their week.
Message: Our guest speaker, Brother Ron Guffey, brought a message from Matthew 6:25-32. His message centered on worry, anxiety, and fear. This portion of scripture teaches us to worry about nothing, but in everything trust God. Seek God first and his righteousness and all our earthly needs will be added according to God’s riches. Worry only hurts you and resolves nothing. Trusting in God, you will have peace of God that passes all understanding.
Prayer: Continue to keep PVBC in your prayers. Praying especially for Mike Cross, Denise Pitts, Betty Pitts, Dot McAllister (shut-in). Pray for our Pastor(s), churches, evangelist, and missionaries. Earnestly pray for our country and our leaders. Pray for souls to be saved. Be expecting Jesus’ return. Keep looking up!
Welcome: Pleasant Valley Baptist would be so honored to have you worship with us. Services are Sunday mornings 11 AM and evenings 6 PM. Wednesday service 7 PM. All services are available on Facebook and YouTube.