Members Like Me
Delivered By
From Pastor David
Delivered On
September 2, 2016
Members Like Me

 1968...We had just moved from Oswego to the Leslie area near Rock Hill on a hot June afternoon.  The rest of the week we spent trying to find our personal belongings, so we could have some semblance of life.  Then we’d unpack all the other “Stuff.”   People met us the day we moved in and continued to drop by to meet “the new parsonage family,” offering assistance, and bringing food.  It was a rather busy time and then came the FIRST SUNDAY.   Our crew climbed in the car, and Daddy drove to the church, a neat well-kept, large white wooden structure, and thank goodness there were other children running around the yard.  That was a welcome sight for a 13 year old.   

As we drove in the gravel parking lot folks were standing outside.  By the time we parked they were standing near the car to meet us.  Introductions were made, and we were welcomed to the church and community several times.  That, too, was a good sign.   

As we talked, we were ushered into Friendship Church.  The Narthex was welcoming with the usual tables with material pertaining to the church and community.  We were greeted by very friendly ushers and given bulletins.  Mother then led the way down to the second pew on the right.  A quick glance and it was clear that the choir loft was on the left side, the pulpit on the right, and a walkway and door stood on the far right.  That’s when I saw it, a large piece of white poster paper that apparently had been in place for some time.  But the words!  The words sunk in fast and deep.  The handwritten sign stated: “If every member was a member like me, what kind of church would this church be?”   I had heard many sermons in my short life, some I could remember and many I could not, but the words of that sign had been indelibly printed in my mind.   Over the past 48 years the words of that handwritten sign have repeatedly prompted and challenged me in many aspects of my life.  I believe this was when I realized God was talking to me in preparation for something down life’s road.  Through the years it has served as a way to check myself, especially my faith and how I practice it.   

That question made me think then as it continues to resonate in my mind today:    

          If every member witnessed to others just like me, how many people would be led to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ? 

         If every member gave their tithes and offerings just like me, what would be the financial condition of    our church?  

         If every member attended Church and worshiped just like me, how would our attendance be? 

         If every member served just like me, what would the picture of our church’s ministry look like?

         Now, let’s stop for a moment and let these thoughts sink in: If every member’s attitude were like mine…   If every member’s marriage…   If every member’s love for their child…      If every member’s home life…     If every member’s Bible Study time…   If every member’s prayer life…    If every member’s testimony…     If every member invited others to church as often as I did…

Boy, that one simple question can stop you in your tracks because its applications are endless.  There is not a doubt it is convicting.  Instead of using it to condemn myself, I use this question as an inspiration.  It reminds me that I play a vital role in the life of my family, my church and my community.  It reminds me that every person around me is important, and I have the choice to either inspire them or discourage them.  The decisions I make influence others in either good or bad ways.  That question and its prompting definitely sets the pace in determining the outcome for any decision I make.   

You see, it is true that others will follow our lead when they see something positive.  That’s what Christ calls out of each of us.  So…take a few moments and ask yourself the question, “If every member were just like me, what kind of church would my church be?”   

  Paul reminds us in Galatians 2:20   “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”     

I pray that this question will not only stick with all who read it but also stick with us in such a way that in every decision, we will be led from Christ’s promptings.  He is always calling us to His service, and we have the choice to serve with Him or against Him.  I look forward to a growing “cloud of witnesses” as we make a difference in our world for HIM!  

Pastor David