It’s Our Turn

There’s a pile of old bulletins in my desk drawer and I read a few of them recently. The oldest go back to 2005 and they are much like a snapshot of what the Barrie church was like 15 years ago. The church had three elders and three deacons; some of their names are different than today. The preacher was Shawn Redding, just beginning his work. It was a busy time for the church: there are pictures of ladies’ events with many present, men’s breakfasts, renovations being done in the building, and lots of kids. General attendance on Sundays was roughly 60 to 80 people, about the same as we were before Covid-19 hit us hard 9 months ago. And guess what: the church was raising funds to install a new sign on the front lawn; the goal was $6,500 (not unlike today as we save up for the sign’s replacement – at almost 4X the price!).

We look back with fondness at the church the way it was and people we once knew. Some congregations have had great people among them years ago and can’t seem to get out from under their shadow, as if they’re living in the past or hanging on to other people’s accomplishments. But the church was never designed to stagnate and be frozen by its past. We must focus on today and aim toward what we can be in the future. It’s our turn to plan, serve, worship, and grow. People of the past can’t do that for us.

When Moses died, they wept for him in the plains of Moab for 30 days, “Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end” (Deut.34:8). It was time for Joshua to take over. It was his turn and he led them into the new land. A new chapter of history need to be written. Even John the Baptist, as great and influential as he was, knew it was time for Jesus to be front and centre before the people. He said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

With a New Year around the corner, how will you fit into the church’s life? What plans will you lay to grow and serve? What can we do to bring new people into the fold? These are big questions that are not easy to answer, but they deserve pondering.

It’s our turn. Let’s do a great job for our Lord.

– Tim Johnson