“Leading people to become fully devoted followers of Christ.”
I think that’s a good vision statement. It’s an admirable goal. It’s something not reserved for a select group of people, but something for everyone. It implies the 5 purposes of our church: Worship, Discipleship, Ministry, Fellowship and Evangelism. And it’s focused on the two things God cares about most: Christ & People. Most importantly it’s not a clever marketing phrase designed to build an organization but a summation of Scriptural concepts focused on building people.
I’ve wondered though…what does a fully devoted follower of Christ look like? Does full devotion mean perfect attendance at every activity the church has to offer? Does it mean I never make a mistake? Am I so heavenly minded I’m no earthly good? I don’t think that’s it at all.
When I think of full devotion what comes to mind is healthy living. There’s nothing complicated about being healthy physically. It’s just hard. To be healthy physically requires three things:
Healthy Appetite (eat right) + Healthy Activity (exercise) + Healthy Choices = Healthy Living
The same is true spiritually.
Healthy Appetite (A hunger for prayer and Bible Study) + Healthy Activity (this is church involvement) + Healthy Choices = FULL DEVOTION.
And here’s the thing about spiritual health (A.K.A Full Devotion). We gain a healthy appetite and discover how to make healthy choices by participating in Healthy Activity – that’s church involvement. Now, there’s a lot going on at FBCO every week. This weekend alone we’ll have a Marriage and Parenting Conference, Easter Egg Hunt, our regular Sunday AM Worship services and Sunday School, the Easter blitz and a Singles Ministry Event Sunday night. There’s no lack of activity or opportunity here! When I say Healthy Activity is church involvement and that it’s one thing that leads to full devotion am I suggesting that you’re not fully devoted if you’re not at every one of these events? Certainly not.
But I will suggest this. Healthy Activity (A.K.A. Church Involvement) is reflected in three simple things:
- Sunday School – that’s a small group connection – this is Bible Study, relationships, accountability & friendship
- Worship Services – that’s a large group connection – this is worship, Bible Study & sharing the gospel
- Special Interest (iConnect) – that’s an individual, special connection. This is volunteering in CAM, FAITH or in our age level ministries or taking a class that will deepen you in an area of concern specific to you like Women’s Bible Studies, Financial Peace or PLACE.
That’s what I mean when I say healthy activity is church involvement, to participate in Sunday School and Worship and to be involved in some area of special interest as a volunteer, using the opportunities the church provides to deepen your individual walk with Christ and to lead others to do the same.
It’s interesting. I’ve been a church member all my life and I’ve seen it a thousand times. When someone opts out of one of these three things it’s not long before they opt out of church all together. There’s always an excuse and they will always say they are continuing in their own personal disciplines such as prayer and Bible Study, but eventually their appetite for these things subsides and their ability to make healthy choices erodes as they further separate themselves from the church, the body of Christ. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about someone God moves to another church…sometimes God moves the troops around. I’m talking about someone who, for whatever reason, opts out of fellowship with other Believers all together.
So I wonder. How you’re doing on your journey toward full devotion? Do you have a healthy appetite for prayer and the study of God’s Word? Are you involved in healthy activity with other Believers? Do you attend Sunday School, Worship Services and are you connected in some area of special interest? Are you making healthy choices, choices based on Scripture rather than the whims of the moment? Take some time to evaluate where you are on this road to full devotion, and then ask God to give you the courage and the strength to take your next step of faith. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Love y’all, God Bless,