Would They Miss Us?
“Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” – Peter Scholtes
Many pastors and leaders from the laity are being trained these days to ask this question about their church: Would their church’s community miss their church if their church no longer existed?
What a question! It is a question meant to hold a mirror up to us in the church and help us ponder our church’s relevancy. What ministries of ours matter most to our surrounding community? Do any of them matter? However much we matter to our community, how can we matter more?
After almost two months with you at John Wesley, I am pleased to say that, YES, I do believe the community would miss us if we were not here in downtown Hagerstown. Before Covid-19 struck, there were three meetings weekly attended by many of our neighbors, in our basement hall, so that they could continue to advance their recoveries, through Narcotics Anonymous. They would miss us if we were not here.
We’ve welcomed back the feeding program, It’s a Blessing to Be a Blessing, and they have been distributing food each week to neighbors in our community who need it. Micah’s Backpack has operated their valuable program at John Wesley, providing food to support the weekend nourishment needs of Washington County students. If we were not here, our part in these services would be missed.
After sharing our excellent kitchen with them, Artesano Baked Goods, the New Start Foundation, Senor’s Cookies, and A Bakurs DreamHouse would miss us. And we would miss those smells!
After years of collecting food for Holly Place, the fall book drives for United Way, and the mittens and hats at Christmastime for Head Start, we would be missed. After years of collections by our Circles for The Board of Child Care and Breast Cancer Awareness, our Men’s Breakfast’s Pennies for Potatoes, and our Children’s Ministry’s support of the Heifer Project, we would be missed.
So, yes, we would be missed. The services provided here would be missed. Because of these services and other ministry and outreach, those served remember our church as a good neighbor.
How about the many who go unserved by these services? How can we matter to more to them? How can we reach more in our community and in our town with our love? … with the Love of Jesus Christ? How can we share more fully our worship and its Gospel, in Word and Music, with our community? How may we advance the fruitfulness and relevancy of our ministry with children and youth and their families, so that they would miss us if we were not here?
It is our blessed opportunity always to walk with the Lord in advancing Jesus’ reach, so that they will know us by our Love!
In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Doug Hoffman