Rustlings (June 9, 2019)

Ministry often intensifies in the summer months. With children, youth and college students free of classes and parents ready to expend banked vacation days, the opportunities for service exponentially increase from June through August. This year, our children will be serving in various locations throughout our city under the direction of our Children’s and Missions programs. Our youth will be serving in Puerto Rico, and another mission team will be in South Africa. Additional weekly youth activities are added to the calendar as summer Youth Ministry Team members are added to the ministry team. Guest artists like Tim Seelig, Ryan Madora and Pat Terry are making their way to our worship services. Camp Prism, Rockmont and a host of other activities are on the summer horizon. I think you get the picture. In many areas of the church, ministry intensifies during the summer months.

In many churches, other areas of ministry suffer during the summer months. Worship attendance tends to wane as families take much-needed vacations. Tithes and offerings dip as travelers forget to maintain regular giving patterns. Even personal prayer and Bible study may be forsaken as the routine of life shifts. Thankfully, this is rarely the case at First Baptist Greenville. Drastic slumps in other churches are barely noticeable here. Many of you adjust your travel plans during the summer, so you do not miss Sunday worship. Others tune in by Livestream, and our viewers increase during these hot months. Over the last five years, I’ve been amazed at the number gathered for worship in these days of leisure. With regard to offerings, a large number of you give online, so there is not a gap in your offerings. Others are very deliberate in mailing gifts to the church even when out of town. Again, over the last five years, I’ve been grateful for the consistency of your commitment. Because of your generosity during the summer quarter, we have been able to exceed our budget every year and fully fund all ministries and missions of the church – those performed during the summer and every other season of the year.

Allow me to encourage you to be faithful again this year. Give a little more than you had planned to give this summer – help make up for those who might forget. Be in church each Sunday you are in town. Your presence is a gift to God, a gift to those leading in worship and may be the very gift someone sitting near you needs on a summer Sunday morning. Finally, take some time to rest this summer. Safe travels….

— Jim