from the mid-August edition of The Messenger.
Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe. – Hebrews 12:28
I want to refocus my efforts here, and what I am called to do. I want to focus on building and growing disciples of Jesus Christ. I need your help.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t been doing this, or at least trying; but this is an intentional dedication to this effort. A disciple is someone who learns from, and follows someone. So to be a disciple of Jesus Christ means to learn from his life, death and resurrection, and to follow what he taught. We are all called to be disciples. The things we promise to do in our baptism and affirmation of baptism are the duties of disciples.
If we are going to build and grow disciples, I need many of you to know that you need to do more.
You need to come to church more often.
I know you are busy. I know you have a lot of things going on. I know that weekends are an important time for families. That is why I need to tell you that you need to come to church more often. You need to make it a priority.
Children learn best when what they learn at school is valued and reinforced at home. It is more so with faith. Faith is formed at home and reinforced at church.
You need to come to church more often because we need to better know the story of our relationship with God. I’m not a Biblical scholar who can explain everything to you. But each week in worship, I will talk about an important part of the story of God’s relationship with God’s people. In our bulletins and other materials, we will provide more information about that story. Our Sunday Schools will study the same lesson that is the center of our Sunday worship service. Our website is adding features to provide resources.
We are called to share the Good News of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, with others. But how can we share what we don’t know or what we don’t understand.
I have, and will continue to, adjust our services, especially my messages, to make them less of a lecture to listen to, and make more of an opportunity to share. This will include having time for people to share with others.
It has been suggested that part of our worship should allow people to practice their faith. Sunday is a time to practice; it’s not the big game. The big game is each day of the week in our regular life. When I coached football. I couldn’t expect my linemen to make their blocks if I haven’t given them a chance to learn how to do it, and figure out what works for them. None of us like to do what we aren’t good at. You can only get better by becoming more comfortable. The only opportunity for us to practice sharing our faith is when we gather on Sundays.
If you only go to the grocery store every other week, or once a month, your family isn’t eating fresh meat, fruits, or vegetables. We know nutritionally, our health suffers from that. I believe we suffer without fresh opportunities to praise and celebrate God’s glory and goodness.
That’s why you need to come to church more often.
You need to come to church more often because doing so allows you to be a part of a community that prays for each other, that cares for each other, that is there when someone needs help.
You need to come to church more often because you need to hear that you are a beloved child of God, made in God’s image. A precious treasure to God, so much so that Jesus came to be one of us to claim, redeem, forgive and make us one of God’s own, promising us eternal life.
You need to come to church more often because you are so busy. While you and your family have dozens of things going on, each pulling you in a different way, you need to take time, make time, to reconnect with the One who is pulling for you, who has made time and has made you.
Being a disciple is hard work, but it is work that is best done together. Together, we can share God’s love with each other and the world.
I hope to see you soon, Pastor Brian
Pastor Brian's Page
Pastor Brian Robert Campbell has served at Our Savior's and Emmanuel since August 1, 2011, and began serving Nazareth on December 1, 2015.
Pastor Brian is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Alma College with a B.A. in Business Administration, and worked for the Saginaw Public Schools' Community Education Department for 17 years before answering the call to ministry. He graduated with a M. Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2011. ONE in Christ Lutheran Parish is his first call.
He is the only child of Robert and Charlotte Campbell, both who have entered the Church Eternal.
He is accompanied in ministry by his faithful bulldogge Ananias, who regularly writes for our newsletter. His articles are archived here.
He is a fan of sports teams from his native Michigan, especially the Tigers and the Lions. But we tolerate him despite that.
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